Fred Guillaud

Fred Guillaud (France, 1973) is photographer, architect and teacher. He has lived in Barcelona since the year 2000. Exclusively analog, his work is shaped as a diary and mainly deals with the use and the evolution of urban spaces and landscapes through the observation of the daily life. Archived by year, Fred’s work is more of an ongoing series than different bodies of work. Today we are sharing a selection of images that Fred has taken through out 2014.


“The architect Fred Guillaud contributes to the transformation of urban landscapes. In each project situation he tackles, he conceives based on data and constraints, carefully controlling the spaces being constructed.

The photographer Fred Guillaud shifts this know-how and puts back in play his way of laying out spatial realities around him. Composing with colors, perspectives and the urban flows running alongside him, the photographer rewinds the architect’s know-how and invites him to view the city as it is, leaving momentarily aside the desire to modify it. The various urbanization successes and mishaps are not, in this case, work for the architect, but subjects for the photographer to embrace. By casting his eye on the urban landscape, he reports on the efforts of many to organize it. He spots the ways in which we all grasp the spaces that make this organization possible. Through photography he tries to reveal how cities and architecture welcome a life form that is beyond them.FRED_GUILLAUD_1

In these daily image captures with analog cameras, Fred Guillaud let’s himself be shaken up by the landscapes he observes and frames on a human scale, by shooting them “straight on”. Inspired by a “New Topographics” culture, the scenes being recorded are a witness of the concurrence of contrasted dynamics that make up the current urban landscapes: effervescence sit side-by-side with dead calm, involvement flirts with abandonment and the exuberance of characters mingles with the trite surrounding signs. The point when and where these phenomenon clash trigger the photographer’s eye and engage draw him into intimacy of the scene capture.FRED_GUILLAUD_4FRED_GUILLAUD_5FRED_GUILLAUD_6In Barcelona, the city in which he has lived and captured for 15 years with the amazement of an eternal tourist, he points and shoots with acuity not only the city’s claim to architectural excellence but also the occurrences of spontaneous vistas. He uses raw materials made of walls, objects and motion to produce images in which silhouettes of a group of old ladies is superimposed on the one of a gleaming new skyscraper, in which he mixes old fashioned motifs of their dresses with elegant layout of the façade. Fortunately, the city and its members are generous with visual coincidences, whether it be in the intensity of urban flows or along the sea side, opening an entire regional capital to many photogenic recreational practices. The precise bounce of the sun on tanned bodies, the cutout of a tattoo, the repetitive geometry of creases in skin or suits, all invite themselves in the illustration of the photographer’s adoptive city.FRED_GUILLAUD_7FRED_GUILLAUD_8Whether linked to Barcelona or other home bases, the familiar faces and simple moments among friends find their way into the photographer’s logbook. Not being tied to a street photographer’s position, Fred Guillaud utilizes the domestic universe to invoke the extraordinary and tell the tales of urban lifestyles from the intimacy of their spaces. Casting his attention on what is happening before his eyes, he travels and takes us with him: day by day, from home to work, sometimes on a business trip, sometimes on an exotic excursion, or there, right next door. Of his meanderings in the inhabited world, he doesn’t come back with series of photographs (blocks of images revolving around a common place or theme), but he comes back with a collection of surprised, surprising and kind points of view. In the end, it is with an architect’s attention to its users comfort that Fred Guillaud sets in place people, scenes and situations being captured by photography.

Florian Golay,
Architect, photographer, teacher and president of the Maison de lArchitecture de l’Isère.


To view more of Fred’s work please view his website.