Collier Schorr:There I Was

April 1, 2009 · Print This Article


Yesterday, Collier Schorr had a book signing at Dashwood Books for her latest release “There I Was”. In the fall of 2007 I had a chance to see “There I was” at 303 gallery. The show was a departure from Schorr’s photographic work. Through drawings, photographs, source images, and letters Schorr retells the vivid story of Charlie ‘Astoria Chas’ Synder. While accompanying her father on a interview in 1967 , Schorr met the 19 year old drag racer and his “Ko-Motion” Corvette. By the time the article was released Synder had already been killed while fighting in Vietnam. Based on both facts and fantasy Schorr retells the last days of ‘Astoria Chas’.

The Long Century has a small musing from Schorr about Synder and war films.

“I was talking to a friend about a scene in Full Metal Jacket and he said “that is my favourite war movie”. Later, I thought, what does that mean? What does a favourite war movie satisfy? What makes it so desirable? All narrative cinema pivots on the transformation of a protagonist and so most war movies satisfy this requirement in spades. From An Officer and a Gentleman to Platoon, the young soldier is transformed into a man, either ruined by brutality or recused by structure, there is a simple pleasure in watching someone (other than oneself) abused into a potential killing machine.

…When I starting making drawing’s based on a young friend of my father’s who was killed after just on month of serving in Vietnam, I re-engaged with all those Vietnam movies I thought I loved and I no longer could love them. The fact that they were a fetish for me, and an ideal about masculinity that I couldn’t afford to indulge.”

Read the full article at This Long Century.

For more information and to pre-order a signed copy please visit Dashwood Books