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Let’s Get Real with France Dorman

Mr. Dorman instructs freshman Tyler Henderson on the rules of photograpgy Credit: Brian Sloan

Mr. Dorman instructs freshman Tyler Henderson on the rules of photography. Photo: Brian Sloan

An unaware freshman waltzes into the photography room, rushing to make her prints and get to lunch. She turns the revolving door in the back of the class, and enters the infamous “dark room.” All of a sudden, she is shrouded in the velvety darkness; nothing is visible. Her eyes slowly adjust to her surroundings, and she can barely make out a dark figure hunched over in the corner of the room. He scurries away, scared by the light on the girl’s phone.

This figure is Pace photography and sculpture teacher France Dorman, a man who literally and figuratively lives in the shadows. He operates in secret, working tirelessly at his craft in the midst of solitude. I was able to sit down with the self-proclaimed “man, myth and legend” in this installment of “Let’s Get Real.”

KN: When you look in the mirror, Mr. Dorman, what do you see?

FD: I always try to see myself as the image and likeness of God; I try to see everybody that way.

KN: People often say you resemble a movie star. How do you assess these claims?

FD: Let’s just say, I make Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant” look like Pewee Herman.

KN: As a man 0f many sauces, what is your favorite cafeteria condiment?

FD: The black bean hummus is my favorite spread. If I get it on some pita bread, that’s some heavy action. Speaking purely about condiments, mayonnaise also rustles my jimmies.

KN: Do you treat cameras like you treat humans?

FD: Not as human beings themselves, but they must be cared for like a good friend.

KN: Do you believe that aliens created the golden angle, a tool so powerful and intense?

FD: After many hours in my conservatory, I am starting to believe in some rare alien life form. Something so beautiful and abundant in our world may be their creation, so it is a definite maybe.

KN: Are the rumors true that you are a royal Indian prince disguised as an ordinary photography teacher?

FD: Rumor has it. (chuckles)

KN: Is it true that you are harboring fugitives in the dark room?

FD: That is a possibility, quite a possibility. (nervously chuckles)

KN: As the cultural hub of the Academy, tell me the craziest thing that has happened in the dark room.

FD: I can tell you but I’d have to have you expelled.