Claudio Moser, born in Aarau in 1959, studied film at the École Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Geneva with François Albera and Francis Reusser. In 1987 he received a fellowship at the Swiss Institute in Rome. From 1988 to 2004 he lived in Basel and participated in several artist residencies abroad: in 1993–94 at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, in 1995–96 at PS1 in New York, in 2001 with the support of the Zuger Kulturstiftung Landis & Gyr in London, and in 2003 at Gushul Studio in Blairmore, Canada. In 2004 he moved from Basel to Noisy-le-Grand in the suburbs of Paris. In 2006–07 he went to Berlin on a studio fellowship from the Aargauer Kuratorium. In 2007 he moved for a year to Le Rocheray in Vallée de Joux, an enclosed high-altitude valley in the Swiss Jura. 2011 stay in Tel Aviv. He currently lives and works in Geneva.
Claudio Moser, travels around his environment, drives and walks, looks up at the blunt, dark grey architecture that blocks the view, gazes into the distance and explores the horizon for deeper meanings. His urbanistic photography seeks out rhythms, cinematographic qualities, as if his camera were running non-stop. Equally important, however, is the latent aspect, where nothing is ever fully formulated, clearly recognised or understood, as if he were feeling his way around in a grey, speechless zone, in a dense woodland maze that refuses to be disentangled. We come up against bars that obstruct the way, that divide the world into "inside" and "outside". Only a broken windowpane "speaks" of a deed, but it is over, and we do not know what happened. This latent "recitation" engenders a magnetic force; we are drawn into a tentative attempt to see, recognise and understand the world.
Claudio Moser is one of those artists who examine the world as they walk around, lending a visual form to the result of that exploration. Through his still and movie camera, his eye alights on places where some action could very well take shape, or where the memory of some act can still be seen. He captures ambivalent situations, between absence and presence, nature and civilisation, far from the spectacular and the dramatic. His flâneries often lead him to a city’s outskirts in those zones that inspire little affection and look alike regardless of the continent, where the urban melts into the countryside and structure blends with disorder. His vocabulary, although it remains neutral, is the exact opposit of cold objectivity. Without premeditation, Moser patiently observes, waiting for the moment when color, form and content converge. Like an attentive, discreet traveller, he touches lightly on his subjects and suspends time without ever revealing all there is to see. Light deepens the image’s depth of field and gradually draws the viewer in through its multiple layers. That image sucks us into its depths without our ever being able to reach its limits. And slowly, the things we wouldn’t perhaps have paid any mind loom up before our eyes.
Loa Haagen Pictet and Séverine Fromaigeat, 2013, Pictet Selection Artcollection III
Claudio Moser’s photographs tell the story of a wanderer moving through suburban cityscapes: a walker on his way as a quiet observer who with his camera captures what is revealed to him en passant as a visual event. It always remains felt that his photographs are special time exposures removed from a larger continuum. The wanderer walks, stands still, looks, describes, and moves on. It is this stop-and-go which defines Claudio Moser’s pictures and which characterises his artistic work. The quiet moments are disengaged from the movement. They emerge from it only to fade back into it. What remains is a pictorial reality between photography, film, and painting. The instant moment is photographic, cinematic the pictorial concept, and painterly the contrasting of individual elements. Claudio Moser paints with the instruments of photography and he photographs with the eye of a cameraman who has no need of a script in order to step into a story.
Stephan Kunz, 2019, catalogue Villa Garbald, Castasegna