October 6, 2013 - Centre Photographique d'Ile-de-France (CPIF) - Guy Tillim
October 6, 2013

Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim, Mouaroa, Moorea, 2010. Photograph. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg. © Guy Tillim.

Guy Tillim
Second Nature
14 September–22 December 2013 

Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France
107 avenue de la République
77 340 Pontault-Combault
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 10 am–6pm;
Saturday–Sunday 2–6pm 
Free entry

T +33 (0)1 70 05 49 80
contact [​at​] cpif.net


The Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France is pleased to present the Guy Tillim’s second solo show in France, a figurehead of contemporary South African photography. Second Nature brings together two sets taken between 2010 and 2011 in French Polynesia and in the city of São Paulo. The singular spaces of the CPIF provide a new vision of the relationship between these two series, revealing the richness of Tillim’s work on landscapes.

Second Nature explores the extent to which a photographer can give a true rendering of a natural or urban landscape, by evoking a question which is inherent to such representations: How much do you interpret a scene and how much do you let it speak for itself?

The Polynesian landscape has been the subject of numerous sketches and photographs since Captain Cook’s voyages at the end of the 18th century–perhaps because it seems to elude any convincing form of representation. When Guy Tillim takes pictures of a landscape, he sets himself the task of  “actually seeing the landscape. It’s a space that changes with a glance or a ghost of a thought.”(1) Rather than show a landscape through details or monumentality, he tries to capture something in-between, which makes his representations of nature seem familiar, because each element can express itself equally and without hierarchy.

As if looking for a modern counterpoint to his Polynesian photographs, Guy Tillim travelled to São Paulo—a town which has also been filmed, photographed and described from every conceivable angle. Here too, he was seeking a new way of describing a city of which it has been said that its total absence of personality has become its personality. 

Guy Tillim took the same approach to this urban landscape as to the wild landscapes of Polynesia: “I show a sort of indeterminate area. The things that we don’t notice, as they are the stuff of daily life. They contribute as much to the landscape as all the other things.”(2)

(1) Second Nature by Guy Tillim, published by Prestel, 2012
(2) Guy Tillim

Guy Tillim was born in 1962 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and lives in Cape Town. He is represented by Stevenson gallery, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Press contact : Hélène Loupias
T +33 (0)1 70 05 49 82 / helene.loupias [​at​] cpif.net

Event organized as part of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013

With the support of the City of Pontault-Combault, the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs for Île-de-France (Ministry of Culture and Communication), the General Council of Seine-et-Marne, and the Regional Council of Île-de-France.

The CPIF is a member of the Tram, d.c.a. and Diagonal networks.

Media partners: 
Slash and Paris Art


Guy Tillim at Centre Photographique d’Île-de-France
Centre Photographique d'Ile-de-France (CPIF)
Share - Guy Tillim
  • Share