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Charlotte Cory’s ‘Visitors’ are truly creatures of fantasy and fascination – each so delicately posed that we think “can that be real?” A noble tiger in full military regalia, a dejected donkey slumped in a chair in a sparse studio setting, a haughty kangaroo holding a cricket bat and gazing out at us dismissively. What kind of extraordinary creatures are these?
Cory’s images rework cartes de visite, the photographic visiting cards that were a Victorian craze. Many millions were produced and are now so commonly discarded in junk shops that they are almost worthless. Can there be anything more poignant than a person got up in their best bib and tucker, preserved for a posterity that is no longer interested? Yet there is something assuredly sadder than discarded photographs of forgotten faces and family pets: all those stuffed animals in museums, shot long ago not on glass plates but with guns, their very bodies preserved for posterity to gawk at. Where did this moth-eaten lion sniff his last antelope? How many of us have stood with our noses pressed to the glass eyeing these captured creatures.
The Visitors is a remarkable book that draws us into an imagined world of immense power and originality.In addition to her photographic work Charlotte Cory is an established novelist and writes regularly for BBC Radio. She has published three novels.
96 pages, 64 photographs
210 x 145mm