Guillaume Tomasi (b.1984, France) is an emerging photographer and a curator based in Montreal. His work has been featured in various publications (both printed and online) and collective expositions in Sheffield, Montreal, London, and Bienne. He is currently completing his BFA in Photography at Concordia University and in 2016 he created the collaborative project Fiiiirst, which features anonymous image-based discussions between authors and photographers. His photographic practice is mainly based on exploration, wandering, and luck. Recently, his work has moved into obsessive research about our world perception based on personal events.
“Where did the butterflies go?”. This ordinary sentence was the starting point of this work. Pronounced distinctly by my two-year-old son during his restless sleep because of a heavy night fever, these few words triggered a long reflection on how we protect our children from the world. This reassuring cocoon, but unfortunately precarious, is inevitably meant to be broken by the hazards of life. Following these events of misfortune, our perception of the world is altered and we are forced to grow up, to get ourselves back together or to look at things through a new perspective.
Chrysalises presents anonymous stories about intimate events that changed people’s worldview. These events, transcribed as anecdotes, coexist with visual interpretations of suspended moments where the mundane seems to have shifted in a slightly different direction.
Last year was the twentieth anniversary of my mom’s death. She was thirty-six and it was a Tuesday. I was in high school all morning. Everything was fine, my mother was healthy. At noon, we ate together with my parents, as we do every week. I left the house at two in the afternoon and, as I was in a hurry, I did not take the time to kiss my mother good-bye. When I came home late in the afternoon, the neighbor was there and asked me to follow her to her house because my mother had an accident. My father arrived a little while after, crying. It was the first time I saw him break down. My mother had an aneurysm rupture. They flew her to the hospital by helicopter and during the next three days, my father went back and forth, from the hospital to our home. During this difficult time, I hoped that they would save her, keeping a picture of her in my hands. When my dad returned for good, he told me it was really over.
To view more of Tomasi Guillaume’s work please visit his website.