Elena Dorfman: Fandomania
by Carlo McCormick
Aperture Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1597110353
Date: 01 June 2007 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
SF and Fantasy fandom has always been know for it's tendency to dress up like characters from favorite books, or (to the horror of literary fandom) movies. But as literary fandom grays out of the picture, waves of young costumed fans surge forth, not just looking the part of their characters, but acting them out in cosplay. The author is an outsider looking in through the lens of her camera, but by bringing each indivdual she photographs into sharp focus she looks beyond the surface and into the heart of their stories. From release/information:
Book Description: In her riveting new book, Fandomania, photographer Elena Dorfman examines the pop culture phenomenon of "cosplay," in which participants dress up in costumes--and live part of their lives--as characters from video games, animated films and Japanese graphic novels. The exploding cosplay subculture flourishes at convention centers, college dorms, private clubs and in homes across the country. Dorfman puts herself quietly behind the scenes of these fan-based events to create a remarkable collective portrait. As she describes it, "The theater of cosplay has no boundaries, is unpredictable, open-ended. It includes both the fantastic and the mundane, the sexually aberrant and innocent, female characters who become samurai warriors and brainy scientists, and male characters who magically change their sex." Explorations of identity through portraiture are at the forefront of Dorfman's work, with the blurred lines between fantasy and reality a continuing theme. She allows each individual a spotlight in which to enact his or her fantasy. The effect is pointedly evocative of this new world of role playing and narrative, one in which scenery is secondary and persona is everything. With an essay by Carlo McCormick, and accompanying an exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.