'Motifs on the Edge' / press release by Lasse Ellegaard, New York 2007
Charlotte Oestervang’s specialty is most striking when she displays as a documentarian and portrait photographer.
Charlotte seeks her motifs “on the edge” in an inquisitive and intuitive manner, and as a spectator you are reminded of the American photographer Diane Airbus who passed away in 1971, when Charlotte was only one year old. But in her work you also sense the heritage of the Danes Jacob Riis, Viggo Rivad and German photographer August Sander.
Still there is a difference. Charlotte is a modern photographer with an instinct for the unsentimental. She does not portray her motifs with an air of pity. Arranged, displayed, and directed but all individuals in their own right and neither exalted nor disregarded by the photographer. She is at their level.
Charlotte experiments in almost all genres and techniques from simple illustrations to avant-garde installations and in that process she has found her own style. When meeting the American photographer Shelby Lee Adams, Charlotte became inspired by the edge in his photographs and later followed him to Kentucky. Shelby’s photographs offered something to uncover.
As an explorer in Kentucky she developed her own profile and mood rooted in a loyalty towards her motifs. She became a creator of photographs with a life independent of all contexts and leaving the spectator in state where interpretation is not only a possibility but a necessity.
At the exhibition HUMAN ENDEAVOR at Pablo’s Birthday, Charlotte Oestervang displays photographs from Eastern Kentucky together with photographs by the above Shelby Lee Adams and the Danish photographer Carsten Ingemann.
HUMAN ENDEAVOR is a journey of introspections. It's documentary interpreted by three very different photographers, but it is also about relationships and challenges between artists and the short distance from a success to a failure.