Deutsche Börse 2020 Nominee: Anton Kusters

Anton Kusters is shortlisted for his exhibition The Blue Skies Project exhibited at Fitzrovia Chapel, London, UK (15-19 May 2019).

Anton Kusters (b. 1974 in Belgium) produces conceptual photographic projects that often investigate the difficult premise of representing trauma. Questioning the act of commemoration and the loss of the experience of place in our contemporary culture, he proposes alternative ways of seeing and activating audiences to continue the process of memory.

The Blue Skies Project is an installation containing 1078 polaroid images. All the images show an upward view of a blue sky shot at the last known location of every former Nazi run concentration or extermination camp across Europe during WWII. Over a six-year period, Kusters meticulously researched these different and often forgotten sites of violence and photographed them using a simple analogue photographic process of peel-apart instant film. The resulting images were then blind-stamped with the number of victims at that side and its GPS coordinates.

The installation also features a 13 year-long generative audio piece by Ruben Samama, which recreates in sound and length, the period between 1933 and 1945 when the camps were operational. Through such artistic abstraction, Kusters offers the audiences space to contemplate their own position in history and engage with the ongoing discourse around human rights, trauma and genocide.

The Blue Skies Project is curated by Monica Allende. 

The Prize

The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at a special award ceremony held at The Photographers’ Gallery on 14 May 2020.