Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ira Cohen's Death

I only just discovered that Ira Cohen died two months ago, roughly a week after my friend, Fumi Kimura. I should pay closer attention to the news of the day, I suppose. (Ira's obituary made the New York Times.) Mr Cohen was a friend of my old and good friend, Irving Rosenthal; and he was someone whose work, as a poet, a filmmaker, and especially as a photograher, I greatly admire. He made these two lovely photographs of Jack Smith, which appear directly below, and it was he who told Irving that Jack was dying, back in 1989, and that he needed to drop everything and go see him (which is what Irving did.) I haven't spoken to Irving in over a year. It's like that now with some friends, much as I care for them. When I see Irving (and it should be soon) I'll ask him if he spoke with Ira before he died.

The images below are from the Mylar Chamber series. Some of the folk depicted there were international celebrities like Hendrix, while others were underground heroes or just adventurous explorers, and one was his son's mother, Jhil McEntyre.

The other day I was trying to recall the term for the Indian holy men who lose themselves in the wilderness. The title I couldn't recall was Sadhus. These are images either from or related to Ira Cohen's film Kings With Straw Mats. Those depicted are Nagas (Naked Renouncers.)

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