Monday, October 03, 2011

Margret Morton - Cities Of The Dead

My friend and fellow photographer Margaret Morton traveled to Kyrgyzstan to work on an amazing series of photographs about ancient cemeteries in that country. It is currently on exhibit at the MIT School of Architecture's Wolk Gallery in Cambridge, Boston, through December 30., more info here:
Margret Morton is Professor of Art at The Cooper Union, NYC, and photographer and author of four published books. Glass House [Penn State Press, 2004], Fragile Dwelling [Aperture 2000], The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City [Yale University Press, 1995 and Schirmer/Mosel, Germany, 1996], and Transitory Gardens, Uprooted Lives,
co-authored with Diana Balmori [Yale University Press, 1993].

Excerpt from prologue by Margaret Morton:
A Kyrgyz cemetery seen from a distance is astonishing. The ornate domes and minarets, tightly clustered behind stone walls, are so completely at odds with this desolate mountain region that at first they seem a mirage: miniature walled cities that appear unexpectedly on the edge of inaccessible cliffs, or stretch along deserted roads, displaying an otherworldly grandeur out of context with their isolated surroundings. As one approaches, the scale contracts; the monumental structures are reduced to an uninhabitable height. Graceful crescent moons, balanced on fragile metal rods, float above domes and peaked towers. Within the walls, scattered among the imposing mausoleums, delicate metal frames evoke the form and structure of yurts, peopled only by small metal portraits of the deceased and overgrown with weeds, for
it is not Kyrgyz tradition for the living to frequent the graves of the dead.

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