"I wanted to stop time with photography. That's another reason I got into nudes, for the timeless aspect,” says Mona Kuhn, who has just published her sixth book with Steidl
“I got into photography because I’m a little restless, and I liked that it was fast,” says Brazilian photographer Mona Kuhn, who has just published her sixth book with Steidl, She Disappeared Into Complete Silence. Even so, the speed of photography haunted her, as Kuhn feared that her photographs would be consumed then discarded – like so many of the magazines she read and tossed away. “I wanted to stop time with photography,” she says. “That’s another reason I got into nudes, for the timeless aspect.”
She Disappeared Into Complete Silence is an experimental project shot in Acido Dorado, a reflective house in the middle of the Californian desert designed by American architect Robert Stone. Inside it are mirrored ceilings and walls, which refract sheets of golden desert light that flood the house. Here, Kuhn presents a solitary nude on the edge of the desert, removed from any symbols of time, creating “an abstraction of being,” and “a space where our mind resides”.
“It felt like an optical extension of my camera,” says Kuhn, who came across the house on an early morning hike while staying with friends who lived in the area. The multiple reflections made the light difficult to control, so for the first time in a personal project, Kuhn worked digitally, to give herself more freedom and reassurance. “In photography we’re used to trying to find a balance in composition. In this work I felt very comfortable with the composition, but the bigger thing that I learned was not to compose the image itself, but to compose the balance of the materials around me.”