untitled (after Piranesi)

untitled (after the Piranesi), version 2021 at TPR

Emmanuel Guillaud’s works often start in Tokyo, while rarely being about Tokyo. While he was still living in the Japanese capital, he began to be obsessed by the subway underground network. Versions of this long running project have been exhibited in various in-situ versions at Yumiko Chiba & Associates (« Black closer to white » with Takano Ryudai), the French Institute in Tokyo and, last year, in Cannes.

Guillaud’s original project for TPR was to come back to Tokyo and pursue this long time investigation of subway as a control mechanism. But the world changed, Covid closed borders and Tokyo became suddenly inaccessible.

untitled (after the Piranesi), version 2021 at TPR is a work made of leaked and imagined images.

In the underground of Tokyo, thousands of cameras are constantly tracking, evaluating, qualifying the silhouettes, movements of passers-by. Most of these images remain secret – except for those taken by one of the subway company. They are – absurdly – data processed and published on their app every minute, from every station of their network. This mass of useless images tell how addicted to speed, efficiency and data we have become. For the artist, these images are also reflections of a far away Tokyo, leaked through the internet.

Faced with the impossibility to access Tokyo during the pandemic years, Guillaud also created another kind of image: an imaginary view of Tokyo. Projecting his memories of Tokyo on the urban surroundings he was locked down in, he captured images linked to some universal qualities of Tokyo as a giant megalopolis, reminiscence of Tokyo arising from his gaze.

Both images were captured using a relatively low tech, old smartphone. After collecting thousands of Tokyo images through an app, about 40 of them were selected, reordered and projected on a dark screen.

The above video is a view of the installation meant to be produced and exhibited in Tokyo, but which in fact exists several kilometres away in the artist’s underground atelier. untitled (after the Piranesi), version 2021 at TPR is about a maze that has neither center nor any beast. The monster is the labyrinth itself. It submits passengers into flows of docile bodies.

In memoriam of Kristelle Frocain.
Emmanuel Guillaud and Colin Henderson, Kristelle Frocain, Marion Gronier, Tomonari Kawano, Jonathan Hall. 2021

Emmanuel Guillaud

Based in Paris and sometimes Tokyo, Emmanuel Guillaud creates choreographies of projections.

In dark spaces, multiple, synchronised flows of pictures are projected on screens made of dark veils, mirrors, glass wool or concrete. The thick and textured materials rub images, blunting them. Photographic truth becomes uncertain. Projection becomes phantasmagoric matter.

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the space created by rays of light, feel the images rather than seeing them.

Based on pictures taken in theaters of shadows where men ramble, wait and cruise, the sprawling series of installations “until the sun rises” was deployed over several in-situ installments, notably at g/p gallery, Tokyo (2009), School gallery, Paris (2010, solo show), Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2010), Singapore Art Museum (2011), Pavillon Vendôme, Clichy’s Contemporary Art Center (2015).

Guillaud is currently currently working on another long term adventure titled “I’ll lick the fog off your skin”. Freely inspired by a queer reading of conceptions of desires in ancient Japanese tales, the work morphs from performances (Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto, 2018; French Institute, Kyoto, 2018, both co-created with Takao Kawaguchi and Yuko Hirai, members of Dumb Type) to installations (Collection Lambert, Avignon, 2019; Turba Factory, Berlin 2022).

Other works include : “Black, closer to white”, Yumiko Chiba viewing room, Tokyo (2012, duo show with Takano Ryudai); “Untitled (lines)”, Point Ephemere, Paris (2015); “Untitled (traces)”, exhibited at ONE National Archives, USC, Los Angeles (2015) and Institut français, Tokyo (2017); “Burning abysees”, La Plate-forme, laboratory for contemporary art, Dunkerque (2017, solo show) and Fondazzjoni Kreattività, Malta (2018).
Winner of Tokyo Wonderwall award for emerging artists (2005), laureate of Villa Kujoyama (2018) and of the RADIAN grant for doctoral artistic research (2020 / 2023), Emmanuel Guillaud is undertaking a practice-led PhD on “Phantasmagoria, spaces for queering circulations of affects”. Guillaud also leads courses and workshops on using images in space, post-photography and queer art at Paris 8 University and the Graduate Schools of Art of Caen and Rouen. Guillaud is represented by Yumiko Chiba and Associates, Tokyo and La Banane, Cannes.


© Emmanuel Guillaud

Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba and Associates.

21:37:27 JST