From The Journal of Contemporary Photography Volume VI, 2003: “Those Who Have Addressed Gods: Carol Munder’s Voiceless Tales” by Annie Dillard

April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Only the beauty of the body remains of those who have addressed gods. Like all motionless things under the sky, they appear to wait out their days. Photography is intrinsically about time, as you cannot see the present on any print, but only some shred of the past. Photographing very old, physically unchanged votaries throws a curve—the silence of eternity—into the picture.

The chief thing we know: Munder prints awaken them and still them at a blow. They are exiles from lands and times that no one remembers. Their translucent edges are as crucial as their dark torsos. More layers wrap them than a mummy: their mixed metals, their makers’ hands, their peoples’ prayers and pots, their own long paralysis while time covered their world. Their as-it-were personal loss rendered the votaries inchoate and blind as well as triply mute. Their present museum cases and Munder’s plastic lenses add more layers, as do her genius, her art’s sophistication and heart’s warmth, and the film, chemicals, paper, frame’s glass, and now book, and now you.”

Carol Munder

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