“Tableaux vivants are, as it were, a corporeal appropriation of art history, which keeps traditional images alive through a permanent process of transformation.”
The surreal and unsettling landscapes of Suzanne Moxhay are views into apocalyptic worlds made through photomontage. By mixing her own photography with archival images, she carefully crafts haunting tableaus. To achieve the end result, Moxhay uses an early 20th-century technique called matte painting.
Originally used in cinema, artists would paint artwork on glass panels that would then be integrated with filmed footage. The result is a seamless environment that would have otherwise been impossible to achieve in its era of invention. Moxhay brings this theatrical sensibility to her work, with pieces that seem as though they are film stills.
By using traditional cut and paste collage, as well as digital manipulation, Moxhay brings viewers into a world that is slightly off. Small discrepancies betray the falsity of each landscape. “There are discrepancies in perspective; shadows falling in the wrong places,” the artist explains. “I was always interested in that effect in film, where you’d see the action take place in an environment that clearly wasn’t real.”
Keeping her work empty, like a stage set, Moxhay leaves you guessing about the action set to unfold.