“To impress these complex sentiments that combine contemplation and decoding, comprehension and reverie, Guillaume Zuili resorts to the most photographic aspect in image production: the print. This provides a salutary reminder that a photograph only exists in virtual and ephemeral form—the most successful, apparently, today—if it does not take material form and become an object, were it only of paper and fragile. It is a reminder that these refined, masterfully produced sheets of paper shimmer with often uncontrollable changes in tonalities, endowing depth in both the velvety blacks and range of grays that modulate and caress the forms. This is where a perception of time resides, sometimes distracted beneath its charming appearance, and nudges us in the direction of dreams of palm trees and pinups, motifs employed by pop art and repurposed by advertising. Time is halted and simultaneously suspended, between a yesterday unknown by either the photographer or what he creates, and a today that he exploits to send us back to a universe that we are unable to see, that he brings into existence.
For us this is mostly certainly an illusion presenting itself as a reality, so much is it able to convince us by arousing memories, an allayed awareness of time, and a possible evasion in the dream that mellows the decor and opens a possible space for us. All this through matter and materials, sensualities couched and inscribed in the gelatin, the sheet of paper, and the successive layers worked by the light.”