Olivier Culmann
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  • Untouchable – India, 2000
    They were already cast outside the world. Their lives had already merged into a different spatial reality which had become a blur. Their existence was confined to a fragile gap between life and death. The day Olivier Culmann met the untouchables of an old people’s home in Tamil Nadu, it was not their relegated status which touched him, but the strange beauty of their silent presence and their old age which appeared both sublime and painful. After several years searching for the right take, going round and round his subjects to capture a shot worthy of meaning, he finally decided he would turn to a different form of photography to render their presence. He would let the exposure time run and thereby choose not to control each split-second instant, so as to depict the hazy and silent aura of these people. The untouchables’ movements have shaped their very own portraits, akin to the sheer wonder they inspire in him.
    Cécile Cazenave
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