© Richard Dumas / Agence Vu'.



Conversations with Eugène Trutat

Guillaume Herbaut, French photographer, member of Agence VU’ since 2021, based in Paris.

In addition to orders for the press, his documentary work takes him to places full of history whose symbols and memory he questions in order to reveal their invisible tragedies: Chernobyl, Auschwitz, Nagasaki and recently, the conflict in Ukraine. His photographs have been exhibited at the Jeu de Paume, the Maison Rouge, the Grande Arche du Photojournalisme and many festivals. He has received several awards, including three World Press, a Visa d’or, the 2011 Niépce prize and, in 2016, the Bayeux-Calvados prize for war correspondents, web journalism category, for his travelogue in Ukraine produced by Arte Info. His book Ukraine, Terre Désirée, published by Éditions Textuel in 2022, traces the origins of the conflict through twenty years of reporting.

“The power of images is at the heart of turning news into legend. Each major chapter that is written throughout the work of Guillaume Herbaut is an exploration of the aesthetic resources of photography and the references it offers after two centuries of existence – an exploration of its ability to imagine the world from raw facts too.” […]

Michel Poivert, Historian of photography

In the Natural History Museum of Toulouse, Guillaume Herbaut is, for the first time in his long career, as a photojournalist immersed in a photographic collection, the exceptional Eugène Trutat collection made up of thousands of photographs on glass plates on daily life. from the years 1860-1910. Photographer, pyreneist, geologist and naturalist at the end of the 19th century, Eugène Trutat is also a precursor of scientific photography. This collection is the starting point for the reflections of Guillaume Herbaut, who has also endeavored to create visual bridges with several other scientific disciplines, including taxidermy. Through his photographs, he comes back to the landscapes of Eugène Trutat, focusing on the Luchonnais. Combining archives, landscapes and still lifes, he offers us an unprecedented conversation in order to redefine the visual and sensitive contours of a new relationship to the world.
At the end of the 19th century, Eugène Trutat lived in a world of protean discoveries in which sciences endorsed many human experiences, for better and for worse. Western Man was all-powerful there.
Guillaume Herbaut’s photographic approach is part of a pivotal period, the one we are currently experiencing, one of climate change and uncertain European conflicts. He becomes aware of the finitude of our contemporary world and we are the privileged witnesses of his questions. Are they heralding a new era?

Extract from the text presentation of the exhibition written by Philippe Guionie

A restitution exhibition will take place at the Château d’Eau gallery in Toulouse from the 13th of April to the 14th of May 2023. 
Opening on the 12th of April at 6p.m. Free access.

Meet around the exhibition:

Au pied des cimaises
Wednesday 10th of May at 6 p.m. – guided tour of the exhibition with Dominique Roux.

European Night of Museums
Saturday 13th of May at 6 p.m. – visit with Brian Aïello, taxidermist from the Toulouse Museum


Ramdam, a bi-monthly media that has been covering cultural news in Occitania for more than 25 years, is the media partner of Guillaume Herbaut’s residence.

A movie by Pierre CHANTEUX