A selection from Guillet's series Inner Self (2013 - 2018) and Together (2018 - ongoing).
Q: Is a portrait automatically a judgment?
A: I raise questions about identity and its forms throughout my "Inner Self" series. I believe that every artwork is political. Sometimes without one being aware. There is an awareness-raising effort that should be done through art for sure. The deconstruction of well spread stereotypes is a worthwhile and time-consuming task.
Q: Should a portrait always have a function?
A: Yes, presumably, being honest is the key point.
Q: Do you agree if I say that by making a self-portrait you heal yourself?
A: To a certain extent I believe in the healing aspect of photography. I want people to feel good about themselves when I take their portraits. It is important to have a sense of being represented. Nowadays almost everyone has a cell phone and takes selfies to simply feel better in themselves and probably to be validated by their viewer(s). Belonging, and the right to being heard, seen and featured, is very important for self-esteem.
Q: How would you describe the (dynamic) relation between the portrayed and the portrait maker?
A: Each one has its own method. I am caring and respectful towards the people that agree to pose. I'm really attentive to their needs and limits. There's an almost silent complicity going on while taking a picture.
Q: To what extent does the format of the portrait you make determine the control you have as a portrait maker?
A: I'm using a medium format analog camera on a tripod. It is a very slow process which requires a lot of patience for both the image maker and the pictured. It has a fixed focal length and it is quite delicate to manipulate. It is a meticulous process.
Q: During the portrayal process, are you ever concerned with what the subject will think of it?
A: Yes, of course. I always ask them if they are at ease with the portrait or we redo it. They have to feel aligned with their representation in the image.
Q: Can you describe your physical working method? Do you work standing, sitting, walking, ...? How does your working method help determine the image?
A: As I said, my medium format camera is on a tripod. Sometimes I stand on a chair and it can get pretty acrobatic (it's good at times not to take yourself too seriously). Rarely, but sometimes, I can be on a ladder or sitting on a chair. It really depends on the subject.
Q: What is the future of portraiture in the journey of the contemporary artist?