It is with the eye of a sculptor that Charlotte Moth records modernist architecture and its copies which she encounters during her trips and residences. Photographed in black and white, these architectures seem empty, out of time, and open to any interpretation.
The artist creates a classification of her species of spaces, called the “Travelogue”, which is both artwork and tool since it allows her to ceaselessly generate new works. The “Travelogue” creates a toing and froing between images, experiences, interpretations and histories.
Moth’s work proposes a semiotic and phenomenological approach to space that engenders new interpretations and encourages a thinking process concerning the history of forms.
The Kadist collection owns her film The Absent Forms, shot on the rue Mallet-Stevens. Acquiring these silver gelatin photographs (Willa Niespodzianka and…this was the plane—the variously large and accentuated, but always exactly determined plane—from which everything would be made…) constitutes a coherent ensemble.
As in the film, the artist used black and white, not to provoke nostalgia but with a will to convene the creative spirit of the places she records and is inspired by.
There are here certain recurring motifs present in her oeuvre; such as the flat object which offers a surface for projections and interpretations, like a screen. The formal associations suggest new interpretations, the opposition between empty and full forms connect her photographic practice to that of the sculptor.
But these photographs are also like rumors that the artist is propagating. While she was invited on residency in Poland, the artist discovered an abandoned modernist villa and photographed it, then when she returned to continue her investigation, she discovered that it has been destroyed. Several temporalities are at work in this image, since the artist revisits landscape photography which is at once mental and fictional, present and absent.
As for the image of the famous empty plinth in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, it is also part of a certain mythology of the city, “from which everything would be made”.
Charlotte Moth has been constituting an image bank since 1999. She photographs and develops black and white photographs taken in places she passes through around the world. With the eye of a sculptor, she records Modernist architecture in Brazil, Bauhaus style in Germany, empty spaces, out of time. Thus she creates a classification of different types of spaces (different species). This Travelogue, as she calls it, is an organic process, a collage, an activity revealing connections between image and experience. Entirely black and white and with great economy (identical formats, modest sizes), the images convey an obsession with line, order, construction and emptiness. Charlotte Moth doesn't only have a nostalgic gaze on these spaces since she also proposes multiple readings. Acting as assembler, collector and archivist, she introduces a distanced point of view on her own work. With a Post-Conceptual approach, the artist proposes an in-depth and ambitious conception of the nature of the image and its authority.
Charlotte Moth was born in Carshalton (UK) in 1978, and has been living in Paris since 2007.