In Paradise, Ronan Guillou addresses the theme of the Hawaiian islands and questions the insularity that, as poet Edward Glissant reminds us, is a matrix for the poetics of relation and a possible new humanism. This archipelagic wealth and its corresponding photographic dialectic is reflected in the different tensions within Ronan Guillou’s works: between black and white, and colour that suggests a representation in the process of being formed; between documentary images and others derived from sometimes infinite, almost abstract, details; between portraits and landscapes, both sublime and ordinary, interacting like a series of questions; between the end of Eden and the ongoing, youthful urge to live.
Ronan Guillou’s photographs distill a singular atmosphere whereby the harshness of reality is softened in its photographic revelation and the poetry it writes. With an admirable ability to twist the surface of normality and hint at some remaining mystery in the déjà-vu, the photographer projects us into a form of marvelous realism whose fleeting and unexpected images disturb the baroque myth of the tropical paradise. His work does not simply interpret and represent the island and its geography, for the narrative is illuminated by the shining presence of its inhabitants. The deliberately fragmented and erratic association of these images is sensual and fluid.
— Héloïse Conésa
Curator in charge of Contemporary Photography – French National Library