Gert Jochems - Photographer documentary, portraits, commercial

Gert Jochems lives and works in Ostend and Antwerp.

Shortly after his studies in sociology and international political relations, graduating in 1996, and a 6 months travel to Bolivia to study the economy and culture around the coca-plant, Gert Jochems devoted himself to photography. He started then quickly working as a photographer for the media, initially for the regional newspaper Het Volk, edition Westhoek (1997), and a year later for the national newspaper De Morgen (1998/2003) and De Standaard. He still photographs on daily base for the latter newspaper today. As well as for the financial newspaper De Tijd.

Since 2008, he has been affiliated with the French agency Agence Vu. In the meantime, he published in various international media, such as Le Monde, De Volkskrant, Nrc Handelsblad, Het Algemeen Dagblad, etc.

Commissioned by De Standaard and other media, he has been following the migration flows to Europe from 2015 onwards, while also keeping an eye on the political consequences that these have had in the host countries of Western Europe. It resulted in te project New Demographics which is until today not edited and publisched in a book yet. When the war in Ukraine broke out on February 24 2022, he was already in commision on February 27 in the country he still regularly travels to today.

In addition to his commissioned work, Gert Jochems has always continued to create projects of his own choosing. Between 2001 and 2004 he undertook several trips to Siberia (RUS published in 2005). In 2006 and 2007 he worked a lot in the French-speaking part of Belgium, in and around Charleroi, a city that was then considered one of the poorest in Europe, and still is today. In Flanders, Gert Jochems has captured all kinds of bizarre sexual scenes, which resulted in the book S and in the solo exhibition of the same name in FOMU, the photomuseum in Antwerp (2012). Images by Gert Jochems are in the permanent collection of the Photo Museum of Antwerp (FOMU) as well as in various private collections.

Since 2019, Gert Jochems has also focused on commercial assignments, in which he shoots as well as makes and edits film. His important clients are the advertising agencies Brandhome and Unbox, the brands Eneco and Flamigel and the organization Fost Plus.

“Between 2001 and 2005, Gert Jochems undertook several journeys on the Trans Siberian Railway (RUS, 2005). He did not have a preconceived plan, but he did have a quote from Jozef Koudelka in mind: “When I photograph theater, I try to photograph the world. When I photograph the world, I try to photograph theater.” In all his later work, whether it is purely journalism, or documentary, or diary, you always see one thing coming back. Theater. I think that this word should be used to summarize his work. ”

(Gerard Riemis, 2020)

selected solo expositions :

2005 : RUS, Museum for Photography, Antwerpen

2007 : RUS, Cultural Centre, Hasselt

2012 : S, Museum for Photography, Antwerpen

selected group expositions :

1999 : Aids in Africa, photograpers De Morgen, international house, Brussel

2000 : Summer of poetry, Watou

2001 : world-championship atletics, SMAK, Gent

2002 : Wie Sind Die Anderen, MARTHA, Herford, Germany

2005 : Inward-Outward, FLACC, Genk

2006 : Tunnel Vision, Museum for Photography, Antwerp

2007 : Act of Faith, Noorderlicht, Groningen, The Netherlands

2007 : Genker Tuinen, Emile Van Dooren Museum, Genk

2008 : Photography in Flandres, University of Brighton, England

2008 : Screen Worlds, Flemisch Parlement, Brussels

2008 : Dampremy, Breda photofestival, Breda, The Netherlands

2009 : RUS, Foto Art Festival, Bielsko Biala, Poland

2010 : LUST, Biënale International de la Photographie, Luik

2010 : Dampremy, Belgian Photography, Berlin, Germany

2011  : RUS, In the Margin, Dr Guislain Museum, Gent

2018 : Iconobelge, Antwerpphoto, Antwerpen

2021 : New Demographics, Track and Trace Festival, Kortrijk, Belgium

2023 : Fear, PAK + Dr Guislain Museum, Psychiatrisch Centrum Sint Amandus, Beernem

books :

RUS, 2005, editor Fotomuseum Provincie Antwerpen

S, 2012, editor Hannibal

Agency :

Distributed by Agence VU, Paris


Winner Belfius Persprijs 2023

Participant in War Junkies, broadcasted on streamz and VTM, directed by Jasper Christiaens, Produced by Hotel Hungaria (2022).

Interview for De Standaard about war in Ukraine, with Samira Ataei, 09/04/2022 (in Dutch)  :

“België Scherpgesteld”

A documentary series in five thematic films of 52 minutes about the way Belgian photographers viewed their country after 1945. Created by Johannes Bucher and Jurgen Buedts (Las Belgas, 2016).

Trailer (4’48’’) :


Trailer third episode: De Belg in zijn blootje