Anne-Sophie Guillet‘s photographs from ‘Reminiscence’ were not meant to be seen here, rather it was her latest series ‘Inner Self’ that she sent me, wanted me to post, however, after looking through her work I was immediately struck by the poignancy of these pictures; the deep melancholia that afflicts them, that settles over every image like a thin veil of sadness. Time passing, people leaving us, life moving on, nature grinding forward, leaving us to suffer in its aftermath.
Reminiscence is an appropriate title for these photographs as they are an attempt by Guillet to remember what once was; a memory of her childhood, of her maternal grandmothers house in a small village in the Loire valley in rural France. There is a profound emptiness in these pictures; a ruined empty farmhouse, a bed made for nobody, a dining room without conversation, a dry cleaned blouse waiting for an owner who will never wear it. It’s as if Guillet has sought to capture the ghost of her grandmother moving through the house, her spirit imbued in the walls and objects of her entirety.
The sadness and loss that permeates through this series of photographs is an affront to the veneer of happiness that is relentlessly propagated by our material world – that we are asked to wear every moment of our lives – and instead they remind us that death is part of life, that everything moves on, dies, returns to the earth from whence it came. Perhaps for a moment you too will stop. Look, reflect, search and take stock of the love and beauty that surrounds you before it is too late to say goodbye.
And while you’re at it check out Guillet’s series, ‘Inner Self’, it maybe a very different subject but nevertheless singles out this young artist as someone to watch in the future. Here’s what Guillet has to say about her photographs:
It is a tribute to a time and a place which both marked my childhood – my maternal grandmother’s house located in a small village – Mesland, in France. Since she passed away in 2011, her home is left empty, abandoned.