April 25, 2013
Los Angeles photographer Elena Dorfman has put together a book and art exhibit, both titled Empire Falling, that feature two years’ worth of photographs of stone quarries in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, CityBeat reported.
The book has already been published, and the exhibit is available at Phyllis Weston Gallery in O’Bryonville until May 11.
Many of the photos in the book and the exhibit are comprised of several other photos, making each image look surreal.
“Although each basic scene is generally what I saw, the components that made up a picture could come from any of the pictures I had taken. Images are made up from between three and 300 images,” Dorfman told CityBeat.
In fact, the book’s and exhibit’s feature piece, “Empire Falling 21,” is made up of 300 smaller photos.
Dorfman told CityBeat her interest in quarries piqued when she went to an Indiana quarry on a short-term assignment. The people jumping in the water brought back memories of when she and her sister would go to the quarries in Ithica and see people jumping in the water. She also said it reminded her of people jumping into quarries in films.
Dorfman said she found abandoned quarries by asking people from the region, doing research and searching Google Earth. Once she located the quarries, she and a friend from Louisville, Kentucky, would visit them.
“Some have been inactive for 75 years, but there are still telltale signs,” Dorfman told CityBeat.
Inspiration for the project’s name came from Empire Quarry in Oolitic, Indiana. The limestone for the Empire State Building at the quarry.
The “falling” part of the title came from images of people jumping into the water–she called them “fallers.”
Dorfman told CityBeat the title also has more meaning than its literal origins.
“It became so much more. About what the industry was, what the country was when these were being built and were active, the economic collapse and environmental collapse,” Dorfman said.
For more information, or to view samples of the photos, visit phyllisweston.com/index/elena-dorfman.