In 2014, the Austrian photographer Stefanie Moshammer embarked on a three-month assignment in Las Vegas. Whilst there, an unexpected visitor appeared at the home in which she was residing and her interaction with him — an exchange that was as brief as it was mysterious and bizarre — would inspire the artist to create an entirely different series of images during her tenure in Nevada.
The aforementioned visitor, named Troy, had come to Moshammer’s residence in search of his ex-girlfriend. At the house, the stranger and the photographer spoke for a few short minutes, exchanging just a handful of unremarkable pleasantries. One week later, Moshammer received a typewritten love letter from the young man, which she would use as a conduit for the photo series I Can Be Her.
The focus of Moshammer’s current exhibition at C/O Berlin, titled Not just your face honey, the glossy, graphic, and enigmatic I Can Be Herimages serve as a photo montage of a fictitious romantic relationship that transpired between the photographer and the lovesick stranger. At once tantalizing and ominous, the artworks in this series range from a snapshot of a couple embracing in the desert with their faces covered a la Rene Magritte’s The Lovers to a photograph of a sign that reads “IT WILL END IN TEARS” in red lettering to the show’s unofficial hero image of a woman’s crimson-colored index fingernail penetrating the carpel of a citrus fruit.
Though this particular gallery of artworks is intended to be a pictorial representation of Stefanie and Troy’s fantastical romance, the imagery speaks to the lustful, aspiration, and mythical elements that exist in many real-life romantic relationships—to the all-too-common misconception that a partnership can, in actuality, somehow measure up to the fantasy.
1. Carnalist, 2015. © Stefanie Moshammer. From the Series I Can Be Her.
2. A truck and a car, 2017. © Stefanie Moshammer. From the Series I Can Be Her.
3.The almost new special Car to feel special and appreciated, 2015. © Stefanie Moshammer. From the Series I Can Be Her.