Book review: World Wide Order – Julian Röder

Written in english for Hatje Cantz Fotoblog – published on August 15th, 2014.

 

Julian Röder is a German photographer (born 1981) who is based in Berlin and a member of the collective photo agency OSTKREUZ after having been previously an apprentice of the agency at the age of 16.

The book World Wide Order presents four of his works made during the last 13 years on several continents: The Summits (2001-2008), World of Warfare (2011), Human Resources (2007-2009), Mission and Task (2012-2013). Julian Röder photographs very different topics but he always focuses on the political, social and economic relationships in our world. He also approaches his various projects with strongly different aesthetics.

This position is physically translated in the book where the series and texts are printed on different papers or with different kinds of ink. Interviewed by Matthias Flügge, the photographer explains « I do not want to limit myself to one specific photographic form, instead I seek to expand aesthetic range in a way that is appropriate to each particular topic. »

The first series presented in the book is The Summits, which deals with the protests that took place during the G8 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and USA) summits in Genoa, Evian, Geneva, Thessaloniki, Gleneagles, Heiligendamm, Hokkaido and Sapporo from 2001 to 2008. Julian Röder first travelled to the 27th G8 in Genoa in 2001 with friends to photograph but also to take part in the protest. His images showing both riots and quiet moments always reveal a sort of distance despite his personal engagement.

Röder manages to shape his position and his photographic technic very well: by pretending being outside when he is inside (The Summits), by making fun of an event when he is accredited as an official journalist for the largest weapons fair in Dubai (World of Warfare), by slightly retouching his images to give his thesis more power (Human Resources), or by exceptionally using the codes of advertising photography (Mission and Task). Very exciting.

The book World Wide Order also provides the reader very interesting texts written by several authors about the works: Sean O’ Toole, Elisabeth Giers and Kolja Reichert. An interview of Julian Röder by Matthias Flügge is also published and explains a lot about the position of the photographer. To the question « so you beat the system by a process of affiliation. Isn’t that a dangerous strategy that could be potentially misunderstood? », Röder answers: « Definitely. That is why the contextualization with my other work is so important. You only really understand the works in association with the others. »

His work is currently presented together with Robert Capa’s photographs in the exhibition CC – Classic Contemporary: Julian Röder & Robert Capa at the Kunsthalle Erfurt until the 28th of September 2014.

World Wide Order, Julian Röder
Published by Hatje Cantz
Texts by Julian Röder, Matthias Flügge, Elisabeth Giers, Sean O’Toole, Kolja Reichert
Graphic design by Maria M. Koehn
German, English
2014. 132 pp., 74 ills.
24.80 x 31.60 cm
hardcover
ISBN 978-3-7757-3855-2
35 EUR

Cover image: © Julian Röder / Hatje Cantz Verlag



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