prism #25.8: 'Inner Self' by Anne-Sophie Guillet

Inner Self
by Anne-Sophie Guillet

In the image of the personalities they are trying to represent, in the image of the indecision and trouble which emanates from them, the portraits of Anne-Sophie Guillet try to achieve—with the greatest possible fidelity—the undefinable which lives within each subject. Subjects who, with all of the intermediary space-time between themselves and the photographer, agreed to pose.

Maybe photography is a particularly appropriate medium to dig into the enigma presented by identity; one which the camera strikes, but with its own genre of indecision. Indeed, a still picture, such as the kind that Guillet produces, combines generous confidence with a mysterious dignity, and thus speaks better to the movement and force that lie at the center of the undecidable.

Perhaps a fixed image allows us to reach more deeply, with a singular loyalty, to what is not similar to the known or already determined. The picture does not refer to anything other than a single feature—common across all images; a characteristic which shares three simple letters: “Who?”
The series, “Inner Self,” continues thanks to the unexpected encounters (necessarily quite rare) that suddenly burst into being from the strict duality that governs most of our relations. In the end, after the moment of shock, what remains is an exchange of frontal glances, from eye to eye, between the spectator and the person in the image.

What then materializes, beyond the strange silence contained in these pho- tos, is a mute dialogue, dense for he who would take the time to face the other. A space filled with the ricochet of unfulfilled expectations and the crumbling of our certitudes. A time that leaves us alone with all but those three letters who resemble ourselves, who—whether we like or not; accept it or not—”Who?”

About the series Inner Self
Text written by: Anne-Fran├žoise Lesuisse, 2016.
Translated by: Alexander Strecker, 2016.

Untitled, from 'Inner Self' © 2013-2017 Anne-Sophie Guillet

Untitled, from 'Inner Self' © 2013-2017 Anne-Sophie Guillet

Untitled, from 'Inner Self' © 2013-2017 Anne-Sophie Guillet

Untitled, from 'Inner Self' © 2013-2017 Anne-Sophie Guillet

Anne-Sophie Guillet is a French photographer currently based in Belgium. She graduated from the Royal Academy of fine arts in Brussels with an MFA in 2013. Her works revolve around topics such as memory and identity. The series Inner Self focuses on identity and appearances, portraying androgynous people in a very minimalist style in order to question the dichotomy of gender and the roles that society assigns.

"In our society, we have very specific expectations about the dichotomy of gender and the roles that each gender should adopt. However, this dichotomy is not an exclusive point of view. I attempt to question this hypothesis by making portraits of men and women whose identities slip out of the norms. Through these portraits, I try to show that there are several ways of living our lives as human beings. ‘Body delineates an individual, it comes to confound itself with the external identity’."

Anne-Sophie Guillet's website:

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