Ira Cohen

performer, poet, author, photographer, filmmaker, Living Theater, Julian Beck, Judith Malina, Paul Bowles, Charles Henri Ford, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, culture, Gnaoua, Bardo Matrix, edge, nepal, india

Born 1935 in New York City, United States.

" deaf parents, learned to spell with his fingers when he was one. In 1961, he took a Yugoslavian freighter to Tangier where he was exposed to the cut-up technique of Brion Gysin and William S.Burroughs and published Gnaoua, a magazine devoted to exorcism. In New York City he directed the phantasmaglorical film Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda and produced Paradise Now, a film of Julian Beck's Living Theater's historical tour of 1968. In 1970 he went to the Himalayas where he published the works of Paul Bowles, Gregory Corso and Charles Henri Ford under the imprint of Bardo Matrix. In more recent years he has been a contributing editor for Ins and Outs Press, Amsterdam and Third Rail Magazine in Los Angeles. His books of poetry include 7 Marvels, Poems from the Cosmic Crypt, Splinters, From the Divan of Petra Vogt, The Stauffenberg Cycle, and On Feet of Gold. In the early 90's Cohen formed Akashic Records Inc. with Judith Malina and Gerard Malanga to preserve and promote sacred texts. Recently, a CD of his poetry reading with a cut-up mix of Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman was published by Sub Rosa in Belgium. From The Akashic Record, a bilingual book of Cohen's poetry, will soon be published by Editions 23 in France.

"Equally known for his photography, he has had exhibitions in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Dublin, New York and London where he is represented by the October Gallery. Cohen has travelled and photographed events and people all over the world". -- (a short CV on the occassion of his reading at the October Gallery, friday 30 June 1995).

His work has appeared in various magazines around the world.

One of Ira's photographs of Jimi Hendrix was used on an album cover.
Three of Ira's photos (William S.Burroughs, Charles Henri Ford, Allen Ginsberg) were converted into signed, limited edition silkscreen prints by the Amsterdam-based artist Kirke Wilson.

"A great poet and a fine photographer.

"Ira reflects the world in a multi-faceted crystal. Refractions made more real by the poetic intensity of his vision -- words and images redefining both 'reality' and 'illusion'.

"Great Stuff". --Henry W.Targowski (in Mark/Space, 1995).


Mark/Space will be presenting an exhibition of Ira Cohen's work (photographs and poems) in one of the Anachron galleries sometime 1996. We'll announce the date when its ready.

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