Charlotte Mano

  • Selected Works

    Thank You Mum

    he Italian neurobiologist, Giacomo Rizzolatti, and his colleagues announced the discovery of mirror neurons in 1996. The analysis of their functioning revealed how they are implicated in the behaviors of imitation and emulation which permit the brain to adopt another person’s point of view while also allowing the subject to socialize and to learn about their environment. These neurons, responsible for human empathy, are particularly active during childhood and they explain why a baby will start to cry when they see another one crying.

    The allegoric use of mirror neurons to analyze certain aspects of the composition of photography’s DNA open a symbolic space which, in my opinion, explains the irresistible empathetic power of certain photographs. The images collaborate with the process of understanding the world and activate our synchrony with another person’s subjectivity which echoes our own emotions and experiences. They contribute to put an ethical distance between the subject and their own life allowing us to go spontaneously from an individual self to a collective “we” without the mediation of a judgement.

    A large number of the images created by Charlotte Mano for her series Thank you Mum originate from this amniotic space that precedes creation. The drawing she made as a child of her mother is a poignant, radiant illustration of what is not visible or of what is not yet visible. That’s why, perhaps, the images in this series do not form a linear narrative. They are created and ordered in the manner poets arrange words in their poems. They ignore standard syntax to free words of their referents and meanings to acquire multiple semantic and expressive potentialities.

    The pain of loss and the anxiety in front of the irreversible – emotional epicenters of this work - coexist in this universe of entropy that brings us together with the most primal love, joining us to the one who gave us life. It is impossible to deploy these photographs, to put these emotional flashes in a chronological order. Like memories, they don’t follow a clear temporal line. Charlotte Mano illustrates in a deliberate ambiguity these undetermined spaces that place the present in a timeless domain and constitute the multidimensional temporality of memory: an echo from the past that can still be heard in the present.

    Her images are rich in echoes, reverberations and rituals whose morphology opens on the transvisible 1, a concept that represents the interstitial passage between the invisible and the visible, between what we know and what we don’t know, between what we desire and what we fear. Profoundly distanced from the verbal, this is an area we all share through painful emotional experiences or when we are within their proximity, both scrutinize the unfathomable obscurity of suffering. But we manage to get by. And we come back to life. However, in that interval, we need to take a break and to be grateful. That’s what makes rituals so efficient, in particular, those we know intuitively. They let us carry out intelligent acts without using our rational intelligence. That’s how Charlotte Mano works, joining all the women who taught us how to give up our reticence and let the essence of our feelings flow. The judgement we cast on the aesthetic aspects of her work has no importance. It is the deep honesty of the process that is truly important.

    Text from Alejandro Castellote


  • Biography


    France , 1990 -


    2019 Imaginaires Photographies, Art22 Gallery, Brussels
    2019 Solo show, Galerie du Château d'Eau, Toulouse
    2018 Organvida Festival, Zagreb
    2018 Athens Foto Festival, Athens
    2018 Parallel photo platform Editions Cosmos, Les Rencontres d'Arles, Arles
    2018 Triennal of Photography, Hamburg
    2018 Galerie Bertrand Grimont, Paris
    2018 Derby Quad Format Festival, Derby, UK
    2018 Maison de la Photographie, Lille
    2018 Festival of Young European Photography, Circulation(s), 104, Paris
    2018 La Bourse du Talent, Jury Special Prize, BnF, Paris
    2017 Les Grandes Rencontres, Salon de la Photo, Paris
    2017 Les Rencontres Photographiques du 10ème, Mairie du 10ème, Paris
    2017 International Photo Festival, Cadaquès, Spain
    2017 Atelier Gaston de Luppé, Les Rencontres d'Arles, Arles
    2017 Hatsh Young Talents, Espace Commines, Paris
    2017 Festival Les Photographiques, Le Mans
    2016 Kampala Art Biennale, Ouganda
    2016 Handicap en Milieu Professionnel, Hôtel Potocki, Paris
    2016 Le Club des AD, Les Rencontres d'Arles, Arles
    2016 Promenades Photographiques de Vendôme, Paris
    2016 Atout France, Russie, France, Japon
    2016 Anne Valérie Hash, Musée de la Dentelle, Calais
    2016 Petites Cités de Caractère, Sarthe, Le Mans
    2014 Galerie le Lac Gelé, Nîmes
    2014 Animalités, Espace Boris Vian, Montpellier
    2014 Carré d'Art, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Nîmes

    Musée Français de la Photographie
    Artothèque d'Annecy
    BNF, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
    Pôle photographique, le Château d'Eau, Toulouse

    2018 Finalist, BMW Prize
    2017 Bourse du talent, Special Jury Award
    2016 Shortlist Lensculture
    2016 Shortlist La Convocation
    2016 Shortlist Fine Art Grant Photography