The four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 are Mishka Henner, Chris Killip, Cristina De Middel and the artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery in May 2013. Works by the shortlisted photographers will be shown in an exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery followed by presentations at the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Frankfurt/Eschborn and at C/O Berlin, Forum for Visual Dialogues.
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 is presented by The Photographers’ Gallery, London. The annual award of £30,000 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012.
The four shortlisted artists have been nominated for the following projects:
Adam Broomberg (b. 1970, South Africa) & Oliver Chanarin (b. 1971, UK) are nominated for their publication War Primer 2 (2012, MACK). The limited edition book physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s publication War Primer (1955). In the original, Brecht matched WWII newspaper clippings with short poems that sought to demystify press images, which he referred to as hieroglyphics. In War Primer 2 Broomberg & Chanarin choose to focus on the ‘War on Terror’; sifting through the internet for low resolution screen-grabs and mobile phone images, the artists then combined them to resonate with Brecht’s poems. Through this layering of photographic history, Broomberg & Chanarin offer a critique of photographs of contemporary conflict and their dissemination—a theme that has been at the centre of their practice for fifteen years.
Mishka Henner (b. 1976, UK) is nominated for his exhibition No Man’s Land at Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (20 September – 28 October 2012). In No Man’s Land Henner explores the margins of European urban and rural environments with images produced using Google Street View. Identifying geographic locations from online forums where men share information on the whereabouts of sex workers, Henner visits and records these sites using the mechanical gaze of car-mounted cameras. Henner’s work poses complex questions about the blurring of boundaries between voyeurism, online information gathering and privacy rights.
Chris Killip (b. 1946, UK) is nominated for his exhibition What Happened Great Britain 1970 – 1990 at Le Bal, Paris (11 May – 19 August 2012). In this series of stark black and white images Killip chronicles the disintegration of industrial Britain in working class communities in the north of England. Immersing himself in the lives of the people he documented, Killip tells personal stories of men at work set against a backdrop of socio-political upheaval.
Cristina De Middel (b. 1975, Spain) is nominated for her publication The Afronauts (2011, self-published). In 1964, after gaining independence, Zambia started a space programme led by Edward Makuka Nkoloso, sole member of the unheard of National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy. The programme, whose aim was to send the first African astronauts to Mars, was soon cancelled, becoming no more than an amusing anecdote in the country’s history. In The Afronauts De Middel creates a subjective version of the story engaging with myths and truths. The book is comprised of a series of constructed colour photographs, sequenced alongside drawings and reproductions of letters, resulting in a fictional portrait of a national dream.
The members of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 jury are: Joan Fontcuberta, artist; Andrea Holzherr, Exhibition Manager, Magnum; Karol Hordziej, Artistic Director, Krakow Photomonth; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany. Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, is the non-voting Chair.
Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery and Chair of the Jury said: This year’s jury selected four artists whose work represents four distinct and significant positions within contemporary photography – Chris Killip for his singular and timeless vision reinterpreting the possibilities of documentary practice; Broomberg & Chanarin for their surgical examination of images of conflict using Brecht’s War Primer as their source; Mishka Henner for appropriating the archive of Google Street View photographs to examine the landscape of today’s sex workers and Cristina De Middel’s ‘mockumentary’ on the Zambian space programme which confidently blurs the boundaries of fact and fiction in a highly original way.
Julia Taeschner, Head of Corporate Responsibility for Deutsche Börse said: This year’s shortlist once again shows the broad variety of different approaches to the medium of contemporary photography – from traditional to innovative positions. We thank the jury for their excellent selection and look very much forward to the exhibition next year.