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@Juliette Berny

Attracted by America’s spaces, mythology and iconography, intrigued by the fascination and animosity it has been sparking since the end of the colonial era, I have been photographing the country’s landscapes and meeting its inhabitants for nearly twenty years. Together, the resulting works form the series American Narratives, an epic account that has been presented at festivals, fairs and galleries and documented in the publications Angel and Country Limit. Several photographs from the series have been acquired by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and Neuflize OBC Foundation.


The term “experience photography” best defines my work: experiences with people and places, with nature, shapes and colors. It describes a free, sensory-based approach that merges wandering thoughts, personal encounters and documentary study.


My projects are inspired by the New Topographics movement, questioning the balance between civilization and nature, and the role of landscape in America. More broadly, my work about America is interested in the social and human frailty of individuals, the deliquescence of the material world, the passage of time and how it affects this young nation, and the discreet surrealism of the ordinary.


Two of my projects focus on Alaska and Hawaii, two states that are underrepresented in the American documentary tradition. In 2019, the Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap) supported my work Las Vegas Topographics, which looks at the state of the desert on the edges of the city of Las Vegas.


Ronan Guillou

From Angel to Death as loud as life devoted to Alaska, via Country Limit, Ronan Guillou weaves a visual mesh that renews with depth and sensitivity the question of margins and between locations in the United States. Surrounded by references to the history of American photography, his images summon a melancholy gaze that seeks the past for the critical path of the present and the possibility of a future. His work never ceases to thwart the clichés linked to a territory, the exoticism of an elsewhere, and transcend their subject.
[…] Ronan Guillou's photographs distill a singular atmosphere where the harshness of reality softens in the photographic epiphany and the poetry it provokes, possessing the admirable capacity to twist the surfaces of normality to seek in the déjà vu the part of mystery that remains.

Héloïse Conésa
Curator in charge of Contemporary Photography - National Library of France

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