Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010

Anna Fox, Zoe Leonard, Sophie Ristelhueber and Donovan Wylie have been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010. The selection this year again highlights the diversity of contemporary photography, incorporating both conceptual practice as well as approaches which fall within a more conventional photographic vein.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 is presented by The Photographers’ Gallery, London. The annual award of £30,000 rewards a living photographer of any nationality, who has made the most significant contribution, in exhibition or publication format, to the medium of photography in Europe between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery on March 17, 2010.

The four shortlisted artists for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 are:

Zoe Leonard (b.1961, USA) is nominated for her retrospective exhibition, Zoe Leonard: Photographs, at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (1 April – 5 July 2009), initiated by Fotomuseum Winterthur. A chronicler of the overlooked, for the last 30 years Leonard has recorded the urban landscape, creating an eclectic and personal inventory of our material world. Working primarily in black & white, and always including the distinct border of the negative on her prints, Leonard’s work is also a commentary on photography itself. Through series such as Analogue (1998 – 2009), she tracks the disappearance of the medium’s unique language in the face of the digital age.

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. Part of the new wave of British colour documentary photographers that emerged in the 1980s, Fox has created, over the past 25 years, a compelling study of the simultaneously mundane and bizarre aspects of British life. Mixing social observation and personal diary projects, her camera focuses in on the, at times, claustrophobic details of the everyday. Humorous yet quietly disturbing, this is depicted in series such as Notes from Home (1996 – 2003) and My Mother’s Cupboard and My Father’s Words (1999).

Sophie Ristelhueber (b.1949, France) is nominated for her retrospective, Sophie Ristelhueber at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (20 January – 22 March 2009). For over 25 years, using photography and, more recently, moving image, Ristelhueber has investigated the impact of human conflict upon architecture and landscape in places such as Bosnia, France, Iraq, Lebanon and Kuwait. Often playing with an ambiguity of scale in her installations, Ristelhueber’s work confounds traditional photographic genres and unsentimentally draws attention to the scars and traces we leave behind, addressing the essence of our human existence.

Donovan Wylie (b.1971, UK) is nominated for his exhibition, MAZE 2007/8 at Belfast Exposed (27 March – 1 May 2009). Born and raised in Belfast, much of Wylie’s work is concerned with post-conflict Northern Ireland and explores notions of identity, history and territory in series such as British Watch Towers (2007) and The Maze (2003 – 2007). Wylie systematically documented the fabric and physical structure of the infamous Maze prison, which became a symbol for the conflict between loyalists and nationalists, and its subsequent demolition in 2006. The project is presented in coolly detached images which lay bare the architecture and instruments of power.

The Jury for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 is: 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.

Brett Rogers, Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, said: ‘The four finalists all manifest a sustained commitment to investigating the nature and role of the photographic image. Each of them, in their own way, explores pertinent ideas around gender, nationality, surveillance and political conflict. Donovan Wylie investigates the psychology of architecture through one of Ireland’s most oppressive institutions, the Maze prison; Zoe Leonard traverses photographic genres in her unique approach to urban anthropology; Anna Fox dissects the bizarre and the ordinary in British life; and Sophie Ristelhueber reveals the marks of history on the physical and human landscape.’

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize continues to be one of the most prominent exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery and is amongst the most prestigious of the international arts awards. Deutsche Börse Group is one of the leading exchange organisations and a major sponsor of photographic art. The Group owns an extensive art collection of contemporary photography which, to date, includes more than 700 works by over sixty international artists.

Award Announcement: Wednesday 17 March 2010
Location: 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, W1

Further information on Deutsche Börse Group and its art collection can be found at www.deutsche-boerse.com/art

Image: Zoe Leonard, “Century Photo Centre”, 2004/2006 from the ‘Analogue Portfolio’, 1998-2009. Courtesy: The Artist and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. ©Zoe Leonard

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