Fanette Guilloud - Born in 1991, lives and works in Berlin (Germany).
"Abstraction et faux-semblant en un flottement, la confrontation initiale aux œuvres de Fanette Guilloud, fait naître un instant d’hésitation face à l’inconnu, un désordre instinctif de l’interprétation visuelle première, mobilisant nécessairement le sensoriel. Dans un paradoxe insensé, l’illusoire se matérialise en formes tridimensionnelles décontextualisées, amenant un second niveau de contrastes. L’implantation radicalise la sensation d’étrange d’une composition à l’improbable alchimie. L’environnement de création participe d’un aboutissement esthétique de l’exercice périlleux auquel l’artiste se confronte : l’anamorphose. Avec constance et rectitude mathématique, elle emploie ce procédé pictural dont les premières représentations s’expérimentent dès la Renaissance, sans le parodier en une ultime finalité. Le processus créatif est déterminant, ne laissant la moindre place à l’inexactitude. La photographie vient cristalliser l’unique angle de vue envisageable, celui qui révélera exhaustivement la conclusion infaillible du sujet exploité.
#Inspiration | Urbanity / How long have you been creating anamorphoses ? What gave you the taste for this kind of intervention on a site ? Did something in particular trigger it ? An encounter, some artwork, an artist?
Fanette Guilloud / "This type of creation started interesting me a few years ago. At the time, I was part of a collective where we would learn the different ways to work on a site specific installation, particularly with paper and paint. When I went to photography school, I found out that anamorphosis was the perfect way to associate my attraction for installations, and visual effects with photography. And this is how my first series "Geometry of the impossible" was born."
Could you explain us how your work is different from the other artists who also create anamorphoses ? Although you are inspired by notorious artists, we find that you have an artistic identity of your own. Could you define it?
"Well, it’s quite simple. To me, anamorphosis is not the final expression of my thoughts, but rather the prism through which I can elaborate on topics that are dear to me or that are on my mind at that time. These reflections follow me and are being expressed by anamorphosis, today. Tomorrow by another type of site-installation. It seems to me that this is what gives me with a larger range of creating possibilities and therefore, an identity of my own."
#PROCESS | Could you run through the main steps to creating an anamorphosis ? What are the different ways to proceed ? What do you usually do ? Do you start by spotting a site to create an anamorphosis in a given context, or would you rather first draw sketches, for which you then go and look for the ideal spot?
"It usually starts with spending time doing research in order to draw up the foundations of the project. Once these foundations laid, I go scouting (for abandoned places, for example) and associate this work to the graphic completion of the idea I want to carry out: sketches, plans, lists… It sometimes is the discovery of a place that I choose to occupy and to which I adapt the artwork, or an artwork I have in mind and for which I am looking for the ideal spot. I very much appreciate having people’s opinion on a work in process. So usually, once I overcome this step, I can confront my ideas to those of the collective or my friends, etc. As for the material, the camera is at the heart of the process, because it determines the starting point of both the artwork’s existence, and the final artwork through the resulting image."
#space | Unlike artists who occupy huge sites to make anamorphoses such as car parks, factories, and the likes, you choose to act on more intimate sites. Is it by obligation or is it a deliberate choice?
"This could be discussed, but I don’t feel that gigantism would add much power to my installations. They are at human scale, so we may observe and discuss them. In all cases, they are about our condition, so why make them huge and lose a connection that leads to reflection?"
You went from interventions on abandoned sites in your series "Geometry of the impossible" in 2013, to much more recent ones in your series "Regenerate", 2014. Can you explain this evolution in your work ? Does it have to do with your leaving Paris in early 2014, to dwell in Berlin?
"This evolution in my work necessarily follows my evolution on a personal level, particularly my choice to live in Berlin. I’m still very attracted to the atmosphere, the soul of abandoned places -especially given how many they are in Germany- but I felt the need to explore new places, inhabited, this time, to write their story in their "lifetime". It is a different aspect of the installation, but just as interesting to explore."
You create installations on order. Do you only intervene in Berlin, where you live, or would you be ready to travel and accept orders from private customers, or for an event?
"I already travel often between France and Germany for an order or an event, and I am used to exploring areas to find the spots that would best suit my creations. Travelling and exploring are therefore a part of my creating process."
As a site specific installation creator, how do you draw the line between an artwork, an architectural or even a decorative item?
"It seems only natural to me to keep all installations to the level, may they be for orders, series, events, in abandoned or inhabited places or that I was allowed to occupy. But each time, it remains my vision of the space and the interpretation that follows on. Thus, the end result has the same value everywhere."
#PHOTOGRAPHy | Photography plays a crucial part in your work as it is the only witness of your fleeting artworks. As a photographer, what do you need to connect to to make the quality of an anamorphosis perceptible?
"I’ve always had trouble seeing myself as a "photographer" because it feels more like I’m doing a bit of everything. Photography is the completion of my work, it is its representation. Still, I feel I am somewhere between the raider discovering a new site, the architect remodelling a place, and the photographer being the interpreter of the final result. Photography definitely plays an important part in the process and I keep the final image in mind as soon as I find a new spot. I study the atmosphere, the light and the way the space works together."
Unlike the photographers of the decisive moment, who bet on the spontaneity of the shot, your approach consists in witnessing a plastic creation. Can you talk about these two approaches, different in their intention and implementation ?
"My work is indeed quite distant from a decisive moment photograph, or even from a social photograph altogether. This is the way I work. I don’t think I could work any other way. Just like any photographer, I build my picture, but most of all, I build what I am going to shoot. I express myself by modifying, or adding my interpretation of things. And this interpretation is like an essay I would hand in."
"Prisme Noir was created to be the anchorage point where each of the members could meet. We created a collective right at the end of our studies, the purpose being to support each other while we individually explore our own photography to grow together in a relatively shut off universe. We plan to have a common exhibition in February 2015 in Paris to present our new works."
Could you tell us in which directions you’ll be thinking your work for the photographic series to come?
"I’ll still be working on the absurd and the illusions, while working in parallel on new ways to use optical illusions through anamorphosis. I’m also creating other installation to explore new media which address this subject. These two series that I am working on in parallel will be quite representative of my personal and artistic progression."
At 21 years old, your received a special distinction from the jury in your 3rd year at the ETPA of Toulouse, France, for your series "Geometry of the impossible". Subsequently, your work has quickly been taken over on the Internet and by on-line media, which encourage all sorts of comments and opinions from the audience. How do you see freedom of tone ? How do you handle people’s sometimes unfriendly reactions?
"I have no criticism to make towards the freedom of tone that these new media allow. I cast quite an unfazed look upon the reactions that my work has generated, good or bad, because to me, "Geometry of the impossible" is an accomplished work, which seals the first chapter of my artistic work, no more, no less."
How to consider the idea of a career, after receiving such a fast coverage on the Internet?
"I deal with the consequences of this coverage on a day-to-day basis, while staying grounded, because I very well know that a career cannot be founded on the one series. So I spend time on my next projects (my first series took a year to make), to think, and make them without worrying about the last time somebody mentioned my work. I consider I have time to develop new projects, I definitely don’t want to hurry anything."
Exhibitions & projects
"Collectif Prisme noir", group show, Carrières-sur-Seine, (France).
Three new artworks for "Regenerate 14", a 3 days take over from artists all over the world at the “Generator Hostel Berlin”, curated by “The Lab Magazine” and “Generator Hostels”, Berlin, (Germany).
"Photography is the completion of my work, it is its representation. Still, I feel I am somewhere between the raider discovering a new site, the architect remodelling a place, and the photographer being the interpreter of the final result." Fanette Guilloud
"Fanette Guilloud’s work associates photography to a plastic work on site-specific installations. Her creations anchor the illusion into the reality, her taste for geometry and minimalism invites us to a poetic vision of the world, a contemplation of passing time. Between rough reality and plastic dream, she plays with perspectives and the notion of the impossible by exploring the limits of rational vision." (Text from the artist's website).
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