Known for depicting the human form in contemporary and intimate ways, Mona Kuhn experiments with abstraction in her latest monograph, She Disappeared into Complete Silence. Photographed at a modernist house on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, architectural lines, light reflections and a single figure have been carefully balanced against the backdrop of the Californian desert.
“I was drawn to the desert because of its magical light and raw mystic landscape” writes Kuhn in a statement. “The house itself is a minimal structure held mostly together by glass, built by architect Robert Stone. These translucent surfaces offered a great setting for reflections and at times worked as a prism for the light.”
Together with a longtime friend named Jacintha, Kuhn experimented with reflections, shadows, illusions, and created images that push the boundaries of representation. “I wanted to escape the body and photograph the human presence coming in and out of evidence, at times over exposed, at times hidden in shadows, like a desert mirage, a solitary figure who could have been the very first or last,” says Kuhn.
She Disappeared into Complete Silence is a balance between the figure, abstraction and landscape, and the title was chosen in light of these multiple references. “The word She has unfolding meanings,” explains Kuhn. “It refers not just to the single figure, but also the endless horizon lines running into infinity, and the lines rendered from thoughts.”