SHE DISAPPEARED INTO COMPLETE SILENCE
Exhibition: 25 Oct 2019 – 23 Oct 2020
CLERVAUX - CITÉ DE L'IMAGE
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"SHE DISAPPEARED INTO COMPLETE SILENCE"
Jardin du Bra’haus II, Montée du Château
Exhibition: 25 October, 2019 – 23 October, 2020
The quality of light, according to Mona Kuhn, is measured in nuances of colour and – as strange as it may seam – even in sounds, or the absence of sounds. The photographer has translated this empirical experience into photographic images. Her journey towards the light took her to the Joshua Tree desert in California.
As a classical symphony is built upon rhythm and the development of an initial motif, so the potential of light is observable through its rhythmic and evolving intensity. The viewer can easily discern the alternating chromatic effects and the play of shadows. As the saturation of light increases, the shadows fade and the sounds dim. In an orchestra, every instrument is waiting for its entry or an interval. Faced with the everincreasing intensity of the sun, everything seems to hold its breath. The brightness yields only to time – a few, fleeting moments can be captured in the fullness of the light. The shadows will not be banished for long: as soon as the sun crosses the zenith, they prepare their resurrection.
The impression emanating from this magical moment is exhilarating. Do even the insects go quiet in the midday sun? There is complete silence. An illusion? This ephemeral stillness is not isolated. The muted soundscape gives way to a series of optical phenomena: reflections. The light paints non-tangible, transparent images into the desert. Mirages. Images appear and repeat themselves – mirrored or inverted. Up and down flow into each other; far blends into close. Apparitions are superimposed on each other. Straight lines are curving in the heat and brightness. Perception takes on surreal traits. Paradoxically, the light seems static amidst the shimmering vibrations. Suddenly the shadows start taking shape again and break the vision. Sounds come back to life and put an end to the silent spectacle.
(Text : A. Meyer / Clervaux – cité de l’image, English translation by Nadia Linden)
Mona Kuhn was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, of German descent. In 1989, she moved to the US and earned her BA from The Ohio State University, before furthering her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide and has been exhibited amongst others at The Louvre Museum and Le Bal in Paris. Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles.
More information: www.monakuhn.com