European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

Julian Germain

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Julian Germain

Julian Germain (b. 1962) became interested in photography at school and went on to study it at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham and the Royal College of Art in London.

Julian Germain

Biography

Julian Germain (b. 1962) became interested in photography at school and went on to study it at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham and the Royal College of Art in London. For more than 30 years he has used photography as a vehicle for exploring the world, examining social themes and producing numerous books and exhibitions.

 He is well known for his appreciation of archival, amateur and functional photographs and for including them alongside his own pictures, initially in projects such as Steel Works (1990) and In Soccer Wonderland (1993). Photography’s place in our culture is one of his central concerns and he is one of the founder members (and sits on the editorial board) of Useful Photography magazine.

The experience of collaboration and engagement are also significant, clearly visible in the recent series of large format group portraits (Classroom Portraits, 2012) and developed further in the long standing project No Olho da Rua (ongoing since 1995), which is entirely founded on principles of co-operation and shared participation with artist colleagues Patricia Azevedo and Murilo Godoy and people living rough on the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

 

Portfolio Classroom Portraits

"Considering the importance of school, it seemed strange to me that the subject was so rarely dealt with as a theme in visual art. Accordingly, I began making these large format portraits of classes of schoolchildren in their classrooms. The aim was to make a straightforward record of the space and the pupils in the finest possible detail. I never tell the students how they should look but ensuring that everybody has a clear view of the camera requires concentration and patience. Each pupil has to be aware of their place in the picture. In order to achieve sharp focus in both fore and background, the exposure time is usually a quarter or half a second, so the pupils have to be 'ready' for the moment the shutter is released. I am waiting for them and they are waiting for me. The process itself generates an atmosphere and the time captured in the portrait seems significant." Julian Germain

Publications

Publications: 

2012 Classroom Portraits, 2004 – 2012, Prestel

2007 The Running Line, Great North Run Cultural Programme

2007 Classroom Portraits, Self published

2005 For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness, SteidlMack

2004 Vitoria, Verso y Reverso (with Patricia Azevedo, Murilo Godoy and children from Vitoria, Porto, Portugal). Edicoes Afrontamento

1999 The Face of the Century, Do Publishing 

1998 No Mundo Maravilhoso do Futebol (with Patricia Azevedo, Murilo Godoy and children from Cascalho, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) Basalt Publishers

1994 In Soccer Wonderland, Booth-Clibborn Editions

1990 Steel Works, Consett, from Steel to Tortilla Chips, Why Not Publishing

 

Exhibitions: 

2012 The Beautiful Horizon, Fabrica, Brighton, UK

2012 The Future is Ours, Classroom Portraits, 2004 – 2012, Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands

2008 War Memorial, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK

2005 For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness, Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK/ Netherlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam

2005 Lifetimes: Portrait Projects by Julian Germain, National Media Museum, Bradford, UK

 

Additional information: 

The Guardian 'My Best Shot': Julian Germain

American Photo Mag's 'Books of the Year': Julian Germain's Classroom Portraits