Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010
The four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 are Anna Fox, Zoe Leonard, Sophie Ristelhueber and Donovan Wylie.
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.
Since the 1980s, Sophie Ristelhueber has investigated the impact of human conflict on architecture and landscape through the use of photography and, more recently, moving image and sound. In Vulaines (1989) Ristelhueber combines details of her childhood photographs with her own interior shots of her family’s holiday home outside Paris. Because of Dust Breeding (2007) relates to a photograph by Man Ray of collected dust on an artwork by his friend Marcel Duchamp. Eleven Blowups (2006), a series of images of craters, is made up of stills from Reuters news footage taken in Iraq that Ristelhueber digitally composited together with her own images taken in places such as Turkmenistan, Syria and the West Bank. Both true and false, her work confounds traditional photographic genres and unsentimentally draws attention to the scars and traces we leave behind. Sophie Ristelhueber (b.1949, France) is nominated for her retrospective Sophie Ristelhueber at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (20 January – 22 March 2009).
Over the last twenty-five years Anna Fox has created a compelling study of the bizarre, as well as the ordinariness, of British life in a mix of social observation and personal diary projects. Since the 1990s, Fox has explored the idea of home through a sideways look at her parents’ relationship in My Mother’s Cupboards and my Father’s Words (1999) or by photographing her own home in the series Notes From Home (1999 – 2003). Back to the Village, an ongoing project begun in 1999, provides an ironic commentary on village life with its festivities and customs that seem so familiar at first but, on closer inspection, reveal darker undercurrents. Also exhibited is the series Pictures of Linda (1983 – present), a long-term collaboration with friend and singer Linda Lunus. Anna Fox (b.1961, UK) is nominated for her exhibition Cockroach Diary & Other Stories at Ffotogallery, Cardiff (28 July – 10 October 2009), initiated by Impressions Gallery, Bradford.
A chronicler of the overlooked, over the past thirty years Zoe Leonard has used photography, sculpture and installation to record, map and question both natural and cultural phenomena, creating an eclectic inventory of our material and social world. Leonard’s photographs usually bear the traces of their own production – printed ‘full-frame’, without retouching or cropping. Exhibited here, The Portfolio from Analogue (1998-2006), is a selection of dye transfer prints drawn from her larger installation project Analogue (1998-2009) which consists of over 400 photographs. These photographs of facades of shop fronts, window displays and signs taken with an old Rolleiflex camera, began in her Lower East Side neighbourhood and later took her as far as Eastern Europe and Africa to follow New York’s castoff clothing. Analogue raises issues of gentrification, corporate dominance of the urban landscape and the history and inequities of trade and commerce. The project is also a story of loss and a nod toward the photographic traditions of Eugène Atget and Walker Evans.
Zoe Leonard (b.1961, USA) is nominated for her retrospective Zoe Leonard: Photographs at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (1 April – 5 July 09), initiated by Fotomuseum Winterthur.
Donovan Wylie’s work to date has been chiefly concerned with the architecture of conflict, predominately in his native Northern Ireland. The Maze (2002 – 2007) initially engaged Wylie in several years of photographing the eponymous Maze prison shortly after its closure in September 2000, when the last republican and loyalist prisoners had been released. In 2007, he returned to photograph its subsequent demolition. Presented in coolly detached images, the project lays bare architecture as an instrument of power and control. Presented alongside The Maze are pages from Scrapbook (Steidl/Archive of Modern Conflict, 2009), an album made in collaboration with Timothy Prus. Based on an actual scrapbook compiled by Wylie’s great-uncle during the 1970s and 1980s, it presents a personal, non-sectarian view of the turmoil in Northern Ireland and mixes historical facts with imagined realities and the mundane with the tragic.
Donovan Wylie (b.1971, UK) is nominated for his exhibition Maze 2007/8 at Belfast Exposed (27 March – 1 May 2009).
This year’s Jury members are: Oliva Maria Rubio (Director of Exhibitions, La Fàbrica, Spain); Gilane Tawadros (Chief Executive, Design Artists Copyright Society, curator and writer, UK); James Welling (artist, USA); and Anne-Marie Beckmann (Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany). Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, is the non-voting Chair of the Jury.
The Winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 was Sophie Ristelhueber.