Batho graduated in photography from the École des arts appliqués in 1956. She went on to work in the archives at the Bibliothèque nationale de France where she met her husband, John Batho, also a photographer. Her black-and-white photographs document details of the inside of her home: a broom leaning against a wall, a fading bunch of flowers, her little daughter asleep on the couch, all represented with surprising intensity, evoking a feeling of nostalgia and sadness.
Now that time has passed, we can look back on Claude Batho’s photographs with serenity. In this collection that is far from scattered or by chance, there a feeling of going beyond the limits of a lifetime. Her work has aged particularly well. We would so love that she and her friends and family would be able to find themselves in this new portrait, thirty years after her death. As everything seems simple in these photos. Photography seems to want to be a carbon copy of family life; a practice imbued with tenderness, made up of daily, humble gestures: when the images connect to a practical “reality” that is never far from a dream.
[…] Extract from the essay by François Cheval