Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 447

Allen Ginsberg & Friend, photo-booth, 1968. Courtesy Stanford University Libraries / Allen Ginsberg Estate)

Michael Stipe‘s confession in The Guardian last week – “What was the best kiss of your life?” – (answer) – “Allen Ginsberg” – certainly needs to be recorded. We were reminded of Matthew Dickman’s recollection in The New Yorker from a few years back – “and I turned in and kissed him, and we kissed for probably fifteen minutes. And it was so sweet and wonderful, like kissing a mushy orange.”

Hetero-astonishment in combination with awe and respect and delight fuels this account of a Ginsberg kiss by Michael Hogan


From Ben Berman Ghans essay in Empty Mirror  this past week – “Allen Ginsberg – Howl (for the queer and disabled Americans)”  –  “Ginsberg’s expressions of queerness start with the body, but not the body under heteronormative, neurotypical, and physically abled representation”…..“Howl” offers no escape from the brutality and oppression of the America Ginsberg depicts, except to embrace the chaotic rejection of normalcy. Ginsberg celebrates bodies that are celebration of their self-destruction…”  Read the whole essay – here


Remembering the moment Paul McCartney joined Allen Ginsberg to perform “Ballad of the Skeletons” – Read Jack Whatley‘s account in Far Out magazine – here 

and news from and about our dear friend, photographer, Queen of the mega-Polaroid, Elsa Dorfman 

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is planning an exhibit, Elsa Dorfman – Me and My Camera, beginning February 8 and running through June 21. This exhibition will be the first one to explore the role of autobiography in Elsa’s work.  It will bring together a selection of 20 x 24 self-portraits made since 1980, plus a number of  smaller black-and-white photos from the landmark 1974 photobook Elsa’s Housebook: A Woman’s Photojournal.

Elsa and her husband, Harvey Silverglate recently donated over a hundred photos, including all of the works in the upcoming show, to the MFA. They have also set in motion the establishment of the Elsa Dorfman Fund for Photo Preservation to ensure the long-term survival of her work, and that of other artists’ color photographs in that esteemed museum’s collection.

Preservation is always an expensive endeavor. Polaroid photographs possess unique vulnerabilities that require specialized treatment with strict cold temperature and humidity controls. The museum requires that there be privately raised a minimum of at least $100,000 to establish a permanent endowment. The hope is to raise significantly more than that so that it might be possible to ensure adequate annual support for the care of color photographs at the MFA Boston in perpetuity. All donations will be gratefully received (We’re not in the fund-raising business but this initiative sounds so worthy and is something we very much wanted to share). For more details  (contact info to make a tax-deductible donation) – contact the museum’s Development Department and/or Harvey Silverglate  see here)

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