Magnum Photos Photographer Profile
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Jean Gaumy 

French, b. 1948 (Member) 

Taking pictures is like fishing or writing. It's getting out of the unknown that which resists and refuses to come to light. ” 


French. Born in August 1948 in Royan Pontaillac (Charente-Maritime), France.
Attended school in Toulouse and Aurillac.
Higher education in Rouen where he worked as editor and freelance photographer in the Paris-Normandy area.
Briefly at the Viva agency.
Joined the French Gamma in 1973 at the request of Raymond Depardon.

He undertook two long works on subjects never before broached in France: the first "L’Hopital" was published in 1976; the second, “Les Incarcérés”, on French prisons was made in 1976 and published in 1983 with extracts from his personal journal written in the first person.

He joined Magnum after he was noticed at the photography festival, Rencontres d’Arles, in 1976 by Marc Riboud and Bruno Barbey.

He made his first film “La Boucane”, which was nominated for a Caesar in 1986 for best documentary.
Other often award-winning films followed, all broadcast by French and European television.
This same year, he started a cycle of winter voyages aboard so-called “classic” trawlers which continued until 1998 and led to the publication in 2001 of “Pleine Mer” (“Men at Sea”).

First trip to Iran during the war with Iraq. Ongoing trips there until 1997.

Made the film “Jean-Jacques”, spending two years chronicling the town of Octeville-sur-Mer, where he lived, through the eyes of Jean-Jacques mistakenly considered the “village idiot”.

He made his third film “Marcel, prêtre” shot in Raulhac (Auvergne, Cantal) over a period of several years.

Received the Prix Nadar.

He has undertaken location scouting and shootings for the film “Sous-Marin” spending four months underwater aboard a nuclear attack submarine.

Since then, his numerous works on human confinement have been coupled with a more contemplative photographic approach.
This how, in 2008, after his film aboard a nuclear submarine, he started photographic reconnaissance work that has already taken him from the arctic seas to the contaminated lands of Chernobyl (Ukraine 2008, 2009) and Fukushima (Japan, 2012)

Concurrently, for the same project, he started a series of mountain landscapes that will be published in the book "D’après Nature" (2010) and for which he will receive for the second time the Nadar Prize.

Officially named “Peintre de la Marine”.

2010 and 2011.
He re-embarks aboard the "Terrible", the latest French submarine SNLA dedicated to nuclear deterrence.

He joined the international scientific team “BB Polar” with which he goes to Spitsbergen and Greenland (2013, 2014 and 2016)

He was elected at the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France.

He has been living in Fécamp, Haute Normandie (Upper Normandy, France) since 1995.


1- LIVRES (séléction)

"Jean Gaumy", Photo Poche n° 128. Éditions Actes Sud.
Texte de Alain Bergala.

"D'après Nature", ed. Xavier Barral, France. English, italian and french texts.
Prix Nadar 2010

2001 et 2002
« Pleine Mer », Éditions La Martinière, France.
"Men at Sea", Harry N. Abrams, USA.
"Mare Aperto", Contrasto, Italy.
"Auf hoher See", Knesebeck, Germany.

« Le Livre des Tempêtes à bord de l’Abeille Flandre ». Éditions du Seuil, France.
Texte de Hervé Hamon.
Prix Nadar 2002.

« Le Pont de Normandie », Éditions Le Cherche-Midi, France.
Texte de Didier Decoin.

« Les Incarcérés ». Éditions de L’Etoile / Cahiers du Cinéma, France

« L’Hôpital ». Éditions Contrejour, France

2- FILMS (Séléction)

« Sous-Marin » ( vidéo, couleur, 5 x 25' )
La vie à bord d'un sous-marin nucléaire d'attaque en plongée durant 4 mois lors d'une mission secret-défense vers le cercle Arctique.
Première diffusion sur Arte.

« Marcel, prêtre » ( super 16mm, couleur, 42' )
Sélection au Festival du Réel (Paris, 1995).
Première diffusion sur Arte.

« Jean-Jacques » ( super 16mm, couleur, 52' )
Prix du Film document du Festival de Belfort en 1987.
Sélection au Festival du Réel (Paris, 1988).
Sélection au Festival Margaret Mead (New York, 1988).
Première diffusion sur Arte.

« La Boucane » (16 mm, couleur, 35' ).
Nomination aux Césars du meilleur court-métrage documentaire en 1986.
Prix du Premier Film au Festival du film ethnologique (Paris, 1984).
Première diffusion sur Canal+.


3- EXPOSITIONS (séléction)

"Les Formes du Chaos" (Arctique et Falaises)
Centre d'Art Contemporain Matmut. Normandie. France.

"La Tentation du Paysage" et "La Fabrique des Images".
Abbaye de Jumièges. Normandie. France.

« La Tentation du Paysage ». Galerie Magnum. Paris. France

« La Tentazione del Paesaggio ». Filature de Caraglio. Piémont.Italie.

« Jean Gaumy -Royan-Le Havre, 1955 »
Installation photographique dans l’appartement témoin Auguste Perret.
Le Havre. France.

« Compagnons de route » (avec Raymond Depardon).
Rencontres d'Arles, France

2002 à 2007.
« Pleine Mer » / « Men at sea »

Hambourg : Centre portuaire
Amsterdam : Musée National de la Marine.
New York : Ben Rubi Gallery,
New York : Seaport Museum, New York
Porto : Centre Portugais de la Photographie.
Paris : Musée national de la Marine, Palais de Chaillot.
Honfleur : Festival Chroniques Nomades
Brest : Centre Atlantique de la photographie.
La Corogne : Fondation Caixa
Vigo : Casa das artes
Huelva : Festival latitudes.
Tromso : Perspektivet Museum

« Portraits en Altitude ». Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

1993 / 94.
« Le Pont de Normandie ». Paris, Rouen, Caen.

« Men’s Lives: The Surfmen and Baymen of the Southfork ».
Washington. Library of Congress.

« Les Incarcérés »- Galerie Magnum, Paris, France

Fondation Nationale des Arts Plastiques et Graphiques de Paris.

« Les Travailleurs de la Mer ». Maison de la Culture du Havre. France.

"Ici ou Ailleurs ". Grand Quevilly, Normandie. France.