Jean Hermanson

In 2012 after the passing of Jean Hermanson Landskrona Foto took over his image collection. Jean Hermanson was one of Sweden’s most eminent photographic describers of the conditions of working life. He also made a large amount of documentaries of life conditions in foreign countries.

Jean Hermanson (1938–2012) grew up in Norrahammar in Småland, but at the age of 18 he moved to Stockholm to train as a photographer at Ateljé Welinder. At the end of the 1960s he travelled around Sweden with camera in hand. The photo book Byggnadsarbetare (“Construction Workers”) appeared in 1969. Together with the author Folke Isaksson he went on a long reportage journey in the Swedish industrial landscape 1969–70. This resulted in the books Dom svarta (“The Black Ones”) and Nere på verkstadsgolvet (“Down on the Workshop Floor”). In the 1970s he made a number of trips to Ireland, Guinea-Bissau, Vietnam and Spain. Later he made documentary films about the closure of two shipyards, Öresundsvarvet in Landskrona and Kockums in Malmö. The photographs have acquired a historical and documentary value over and above the political dynamite they contained when they were first published. They are narratives of a time, a society and a class that has mostly vanished today. Jean Hermanson’s archive is now preserved at Landskrona Foto.

HIMLENS MÖRKRUM

HIMLENS MÖRKRUM (2017) is a documentary by Nils-Petter Löfstedt about the photographer Jean Hermanson and his images.

In this acclaimed documentary we can take part of the enormous image treasury, and not the least get to know the Jean Hermanson persons in his photographies.

He leaves behind an archive where the most has been hidden from the world around him. Jean’s two children are inheriting their dad’s archive and are starting the search for a new home to all the running meters of photo history. When no alternative is serious enough it will stay with Nils Petter Löfstedt meanwhile.

Nils Petter decides to try to finish the unfinished projects. The dream of finding the persons that Jean photographed and to find a place where Jean’s culture heritage can be administered is growing. The journey in the footsteps of Jean are leading to many exciting meetings between the now and the past. It will be a journey through a Sweden that is remarkably similar to the one that Jean Hermanson once photographed.  

Jean Hermanson and Dublin’s children The first and last work

Jean Hermanson and Dublin’s children is an exhibition produced as a result of the acquisition by Landskrona Foto of Hermanson’s total lifework.

AboAt the end of the 1960s the photographer Jean Hermanson (1938–2012) travelled to Dublin. His plan was to follow in the footsteps of James Joyce, with the camera as his instrument. But instead of recreating Leopold Bloom’s route on that famous day he chose to point his ca-mera at the children. Children became Hermanson’s guide in the streets, in this world of both darkness and play, and his documentation of their life developed into a large, full work with a strong feeling for the children’s experiences. The photographs from Dublin were Hermanson’s first major photographic work. But almost fifty years were to pass before he began to sort the rich material towards the end of his life. The exhibition at Landskrona Museum also shows this creative process; the contact sheets are presented alongside Jean Hermanson’s pictures of the Irish capital.

Organized by: Landskrona Foto and Landskrona MuseumYear of production: 2016 Curator: Jenny Lindhe in collaboration with Nils Petter Löfstedt