Planchettes – Exhibition | Interview with Jerome Poulalier
We met Jerome when he still lived in Turin. He talked to us about his pictures, his desire to leave his job in the car industry, his work for the Hannibal Torino shop and his many travels … It was a lengthy discussion, and we ended up eating a kebab …… Since then our relationship has been tight and we have launched one of his exclusive photos showing the face of a cheerful sweeper in San Francisco, he has produced his first t -shirts for his new project Shutter clothing and exposed his splendid ” Planchette ” …
Hi Jerome, before turning to Shutter and your different activities , can you tell me a little about your background, your story?
Hi Valentin, I won’t get in to much about my career because I have done a lot of completely different things at different times in my life but I can tell you that I have traveled a lot and that has contributed immensely to the realization of my projects.
Regarding where it all started in any case, unlike a lot of photographers, I did not find a camera on the train or in my father’s desk drawer when I was younger. It all started very much later. I went through a drawing period when I reproduced fictional characters of people around me. It started with Asterix at the very beginning (it must have been the next magic potion), then it moved onto the reaper skeleton of Blind Skateboards period, the characters of the first episodes of Lascars or those Gorillaz clips. I greatly admired a lot of different things, the only things I’ve never loved is reading and writing. I really loved watching actually. Today I write a little, mainly to tell stories of my travels in the form of micro briefs, by country or city.
You talk about admiration, who were your heroes as a kid?
I just use the term admiration because I have trouble conceiving the idea of making someone a hero. Younger or even now, I admire the work of many people, but I still do not know who would be “my hero.” What is a hero? One who has succeeded, who has the desire? I don’t know, I don’t think about that in fact.
I guess all this has influenced the world of your brand, Shutter Clothing?
Yes, I said to myself that I need to materialise my inspirations in a project that includes the things which I like. Clothing, music, urban world with skateboarding or outings, photography, travel … I chose to put photography at the heart of the project because with this you are taken but it is also a very good way to set up cool events, you know what it’s about!
The opening of the collective exhibition that you organized in Lyon has just ended. So how did it go ?
Very good, we had more than 500 people there in the same night, the exhibition really found its audience and the concert that followed was a full house. Initially we made a call for candidates on the urban photography theme. The goal to define a topic so broad was just to have a mix that covers what can be done in urban photography as much as possible. We had some very nice work, including international artists like Naama Alex Levy ( Israel) , Harvey Zipkin ( Florida ) or Vito Di Stefano (Brazil ), but also some locals. We dug up a guy from Nantes who also does very nice travel logs, a guy called Valentin, if he rings a bell…;)
You are passionate about travel, it shows in your work with Shutter and your selection of photographers for the exhibition, are you not ok in France ?!
haha, yes, I’m good here. I returned to launch the brand and realize my photo projects and I ‘m really delighted. It’s just that I often need to escape. Beyond that, it is my main source of inspiration. I find it hard to think or create in a routine environment, I feel that the mist sets in as soon as I stay in the same city too long. I have to move.
There are trips or cities that have left their mark on you more than others I guess, can you give us a ranking?
China 1st ! Shanghai, slap in the face! First time in Asia , 3 weeks there. Great for photos, exploration, reporting, it’s really remarkable ! It was in full world exhibition and so all the little poor neighborhoods were demolished to make room and make the city more clean before the arrival of tourists. When I walked there I had a cold shiver down my spine. I saw families return there searching for their things in the rubble, disgusting markets, reimprovised houses etc.
Russia 2nd ! I had told you about it in the article Moscow Lada. It’s like another world .
Finally, to complete the podium, Romania. Discovery of a ghost industrial city in ruins for over 20 years. I was surprised to see a lot of people still in the city, amid the ruins and pools of carbon black (like oil slicks ) . A chaotic decor and guys that didn’t laugh with a hammer or pickaxe in their hands! The guy with the hammer in hand that you used there for some time for Olow was there. Take a look here: http://shutter-clothing.com/memories-copsa-mica/
We met in Paris in 2012 to brainstorm for the making of a video, we then collaborated together on a t shirt, what motivatied you to participate in our “Planchettes” exhibition?
The idea for starters, I love to work on different medias I found the board awesome! It pushed me to think, to find new methods. I had to do a little searching to find out how to upload a photo to wood. I did not want to go through the digital printing process but wanted to use a photosensitive product and develop a photo film on the board directly. In the end it was a massive struggle so I chose a chemical process incorporating the idea of transfer, but on wood. After the general way I like to work on group projects, you meet great people and the final result is often cool. The opening at Barbershop was really great, and it looked like it will continue that way! Bravo to you !
Your plans for this year?
To find the time to do a real photo report. I have slides on topics in Burkina and Los Angeles but it takes ages to turn the idea into a concrete news story, find sponsors and to implement it… It will work out, if it’s not this year then it’s because everything else has worked out so all the better!