Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006 , The Photographers’ Gallery’s annual Photography Prize and exhibition, opened with the shortlist for this year’s major international arts award which consists of Robert Adams, Yto Barrada, Phil Collins and Alec Soth. The winner will receive £30,000. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006  exhibition was on view at The Photographers’ Gallery until 23 April and then toured to Berlin and Frankfurt. Founded in 1996 and now known as the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006 , this year’s Prize marks 10 years of The Photographers’ Gallery promoting the best of contemporary photography. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize aims to reward a living photographer, of any nationality, who has made the most significant contribution to the medium of photography in Europe between 1 November 2004 and 30 September 2005. The shortlisted photographers have been nominated by the Academy, a group of European photography experts invited by the Gallery. These nominations were for a significant exhibition or publication and the final shortlist was announced in October 2005 by the Jury, chaired by Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery.

The Nominees

Robert Adams

 

Robert Adams (b.1937, USA) has been shortlisted for his exhibition Turning Back, A Photographic Journal of Reexploration at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany (29 June–25 September 2005). Adams’s delicate silver-gelatin prints, taken between 1999 and 2003, are an exploration of the topography of the north-western United States, as it changes from the Pacific Coast to the open planes of eastern Oregon. For over 40 years, Adams’s photographs have documented the impact industrial development has had on the landscape of the American West, where he grew up and still lives. Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition between 1804 and 1806, Turning Back offers a personal and unsparing look at how a landscape has been scarred by de-forestation, industrial development and human habitation.

Installation View, Robert Adams, Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006, The Photographers' Gallery, 2006. Photo Credit: Kate Elliott. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery Archive.

Yto Barrada

Yto Barrada (b. 1971, Morocco) has been shortlisted for the exhibition A Life Full of Holes – the Strait Project at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool and which was produced in collaboration with Autograph ABP, London (12 February – 2 April 2005). This photography project poetically explores issues of migration, Diaspora, access and exclusion. Over the last 15 years, the Strait of Gibraltar has become one of the main gateways for illegal immigration. Barrada’s photographs, taken between 1998 and 2004, capture the temptations of leaving, and the unfulfilled hopes of escaping across the Strait into Europe. Living and working in both Paris and Tangier, Barrada’s parallel experience of these cities informs her photographic practice, and also offers a challenging suggestion to the aesthetic fetishism that has long characterised representations of the Arab world.

Installation View, Yto Barrada, Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006, The Photographers' Gallery, 2006. Photo Credit: Kate Elliott. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery Archive.

Phil Collins

Phil Collins (b.1970, UK) has been shortlisted for his exhibition yeah…..you, baby you at Milton Keynes Gallery, UK (9 April – 29 May 2005). Collins’s work has always involved various forms of creative expression, including photography, video, music, participatory events and orchestrated meetings. His projects are often the culmination of a prolonged period of contact between the artist and the individuals pictured in his work. While dealing with some of the most extreme human situations and experiences, there is also a strong element of humour and energy within Collins’s work. Through choreographing seemingly playful scenarios, and inviting his subjects to actively participate in the creative process of representation, Collins’s practice subtly challenges the documentary medium while retaining an incisive political and social dimension.

Installation View, Phil Collins, Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006, The Photographers' Gallery, 2006. Photo Credit: Kate Elliott. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery Archive.

Alec Soth

Alec Soth (b.1969, USA) has been shortlisted for his exhibition Sleeping by the Mississippi at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, UK (4 December 2004 – 5 February 2005). Between 1999 and 2004, Soth undertook several trips following the trail of the Mississippi River from Minnesota south to Louisiana. Photographing the people and landscapes he encountered resulted in a methodical as well as deeply personal and poetic photographic travelogue. The mythology of this river has inspired artists, writers and musicians for decades and Soth offers his own poignant and compelling view of this place and its inhabitants. Like a series of lyrical fragments all linked by the trail of the river, Soth carries on the tradition of the itinerant documentary photographer in a new and refreshing way.

Installation View, Alec Soth, Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006, The Photographers' Gallery, 2006. Photo Credit: Kate Elliott. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery Archive.

Great 64 Front Cover, The Photographers' Gallery, 2006. Photo Credit: Alec Soth. Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery Archive.

The Jury

The Jury for 2006 is: Thomas Demand, artist (Berlin), Emma Dexter, Curator, Tate Modern (London), Régis Durand, Director, Jeu de Paume (Paris) and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt).

Brett Rogers, Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, said: ‘The shortlist of candidates for the 2006 Photography Prize, made by this year’s Jury, reflects the current diversity of international photography in Europe. The work of all four photographers investigates the often complicated relationship between humans and their surroundings. Taking subjects with strong contemporary relevance, they represent some of the most interesting and challenging positions with the photographic field today. ‘

Ulrich Meissner, Director of Marketing Communication at Deutsche Börse Group said: ‘As title sponsors, we are proud to support the photography Prize, which over the past ten years has recognized exceptional achievements and launched many careers. The shortlist for 2006 highlights the range of nominees, varying in nationality and renown, as well as in their subject matter and artistic approach. True to its international spirit, the exhibition of the finalists will be shown in London, Berlin and Frankfurt.’

The Winner

The photographer Robert Adams (b. 1937, USA) was awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2006 , a leading international arts award. The exhibition continues at The Photographers’ Gallery until 23 April and will then tour to Berlin and Frankfurt. Considered one of the most important photographers working today, Robert Adams was awarded the Prize for his recent exhibition Turning Back, A Photographic Journal of Re-exploration  at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany (29 June – 25 September 2005). For over 40 years Adams has, through his photographs, documented the impact industrial development has had on the landscape of the American West, an area where he grew up and still lives. Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition between 1804 and 1806, Turning Back  offers a personal and unsparing look at how a landscape has been scarred by de-forestation, industrial development and human habitation. The series of delicate silver-gelatin prints, taken between 1999 and 2003, are an exploration of the topography of the northwestern United States as it changes from the Pacific Coast to the open planes of eastern Oregon.

Brett Rogers, Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, said: ‘The shortlisted photographers nominated for this year’s Prize, which is now in its 10th year, were not only an exceptional selection but also reflective of the vitality and quality of work being produced by international artists today. Their decision to present the award to Robert Adams for his series Turning Back  was in recognition of an artist who is now at the pinnacle of his practice and whose contribution to contemporary debate, both through his writing and photography cannot be underestimated. Adams’s unique and powerful voice coupled with his ongoing contribution to the medium of photography is, without question, an inspiration for contemporary practitioners. Robert Adams’s skill in tackling brutal topics, such as environmental destruction in the American West, presented in delicate monochrome prints enables him to comment in a restrained but powerful way on subjects of global significance.’

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