Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2009

4 minutes
On Photographers
Awarded to: Paul Graham. Nominees: Emily Jacir, Tod Papageorge and Taryn Simon.

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2009

The four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2009 are Paul Graham, Emily Jacir, Tod Papageorge and Taryn Simon.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize seeks to acknowledge today’s leading international photographers and artists and to raise the profile of photography within the visual arts by acting as a focus for debate and discussion. The aim of the Prize is also to increase audiences for exhibitions of contemporary photography and to explore photography’s wider role in society.

The Photography Prize History Founded in 1996, and now in its fourteenth year, the Prize has become one of the most prestigious international arts awards and has launched and established the careers of many photographers over the years. Previously known as the Citigroup Photography Prize, the Gallery is delighted to have been collaborating with Deutsche Börse Group as sponsors of the Photography Prize since 2005. Deutsche Börse has developed a major corporate collection of contemporary photography – a collection that includes the work of many photographers who have been shortlisted for the Prize in the past.

Each year, an international Jury selects four photographers from nominations made by the Academy. The Academy consists of a group of photography experts and professionals from across Europe, invited by The Photographers’ Gallery. Its members are asked to nominate a monographic exhibition or publication by a living photographer, of any nationality, who has made the most significant contribution to the medium of photography in Europe over the past year. In October 2009, the Jury shortlisted four photographers for the Prize whose work is now being shown here at the Gallery. On Wednesday 17 March 2010, the Jury meets again to select and award the photographer or artist whose work they feel is most deserving of the Prize. This individual receives an award of £30,000 and the other three finalists £3,000 each.

The Nominees

Paul Graham

Paul Graham (b. 1956, UK) has been nominated for his publication a shimmer of possibility (steidlMACK, October 2007).

Graham’s installation features a selection of photographs from a shimmer of possibility, taken while travelling across the United States between 2004 and 2006. The work was first presented in the form of a 12-volume publication, with individual books ranging from a single photograph to 60 pages of images. Graham’s quiet photographic moments find sublime pleasure in everyday activities, like playing a game of basketball or waiting for a bus. They work as 'filmic haikus', tiny

Tod Papageorge

Tod Papageorge (born 1940, USA) has been nominated for his exhibition Passing Through Eden: Photographs of Central Park, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London (7 March – 12 April 2008).

Tod Papageorge produced the photographs in Passing Through Eden, a poetic study of Central Park, between 1966 and 1991 while he was living in New York City. Primarily using a medium-format camera, Papageorge immersed himself in the park’s free-flowing life to capture a whole spectrum of human activity. He later employed the Book of Genesis to lend a sequencing structure to the book and exhibitions of the work.

Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon (b. 1975, USA) has been nominated for her exhibition An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar at The Photographers' Gallery, London (28 August – 29 November 2007).

For An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2003 - 2007), Simon compiles an inventory of what lies hidden and out-of-view within the borders of the United States. Assuming the dual role of shrewd informant and collector of curiosities she examines a culture through careful documentation of diverse subjects from the realms of science, government, medicine, entertainment, nature, security, and religion.

Emily Jacir

Emily Jacir (b. 1970, Kuwait) has been nominated for her exhibition Material for a film (2004 – ongoing) at the Venice Biennale 2007.

Material for a film retraces the life of the Palestinian intellectual Wael Zuaiter who was assassinated by Israeli agents in Rome in 1972. Presented as an open-ended multimedia installation, Zuaiter’s life is told through photographs, film clippings, maps and written documents such as newspapers, notes and letters. A selection of works from the original installation in Venice is now presented here as part of the Photography Prize. The project reflects Jacir’s ongoing concern with issues of historical amnesia, resistance and the logic of the archive.

The Jury

This year’s jury members are David Campany, writer/lecturer, University of Westminster (UK); David Goldblatt, photographer (South Africa); Chus Martínez Chief Curator, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Spain); and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse (Germany). Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, is the nonvoting chairman of the jury.

The Winner

The Winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2009 was Paul Graham.