The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is an annual award, originated by The Photographers’ Gallery, to recognise and support the most innovative, original and relevant photography-based practice within a given year.
The 2020 nominees are:
Presented over the 4th and 5th floors of the Gallery, the DBPFP20 exhibition comprises four distinct artists’ rooms, offering each shortlisted project a self-contained space for visitors to engage with the works in depth, as well as encouraging a consideration of the projects in dialogue to get a sense of the shared artistic, social and political issues influencing contemporary photography more widely.
On the fourth floor, the first space showcases five selected projects by Mohamed Bourouissa, drawn from his nominated exhibition Free Trade at Rencontres d’Arles, France (1 July – 22 September 2019).
Comprising a survey of Bourouissa’s work over the past 15 years, the exhibition includes works from Nous Sommes Halles (2003-2005 in collaboration with Anoush Kashoot), Périphérique (2005-2008), Temps Mort (2009), Shoplifters (2014-2015) and his augmented-reality piece revealing the invisible Army of the Unemployed.
Questioning the circulation of knowledge, social control and power dynamics in contemporary French society, Bourouissa focusses on disenfranchised people and communities. Working across photography, video and sculpture, his work probes socio-economic processes, and the invisible tensions between different social milieus and their related culturally and historically prescribed representations.
Inhabiting the back space of the fourth floor, artist Clare Strand’s conceptual research project, The Discrete Channel with Noise exhibited at PHotoESPAÑA, Madrid, Spain (5 – 21 June 2019) reconsiders an early experiment in the transmission of images via telegraphic communication and highlights how easily information can be misunderstood, misinterpreted or misused.
Strand was Inspired by George H. Eckhardt’s publication Electronic Television (1936) and adopts this methodology as a way of exploring the process of transmission and reception, recreating existing photographic images into paintings via encoded messages by telephone. The project features photographs (information sources) and paintings (information destinations) also reflecting the competitive and often problematic relationship between the two media.
The first encounter on the 5th floor is with Anton Kusters’ The Blue Skies Project, which was exhibited at Fitzrovia Chapel, London (15–19 May 2019) and curated by Monica Allende. The work offers a visual response to violence, trauma and memory and contains 1,078 polaroid images, all showing an upward view of a blue sky shot at the last known location of every former Nazi run concentration and extermination camp across Europe from 1933 to 1945.
Questioning the act of commemoration and its potentially limited means of representing grief and suffering, Kusters proposes other ways of seeing and dealing with such history. The installation also features a 13 year-long generative audio piece by sound artist, composer and songwriter, Ruben Samama, which represents, in both sound and duration, the period between 1933 and 1945 when the camps were active, and further signifies the human loss at each of the sites.
Finally, on the 5th floor is Mark Neville’s project Parade, published by the Centre d’Art GwinZegal, Guingamp, France (2019) focused on a farming community in Brittany.
Neville began taking photographs in Guingamp, Brittany (“little Britain”) in 2016 and over three years, produced a complex, multi-layered portrait of this tight-knit provincial farming region. Connecting art and social documentary practices, he further photographed different agribusinesses in the community – from small holdings to large industries. The resulting photobook, now accompanied by a publication of essays by Brittany farmers articulating the need for a sustainable, humane, even ecotopian type of agriculture, was sent out to UK and European ministries of agriculture and food as well as key policy makers, calling for the urgent adoption of more ecological methods of farming.
The exhibition will feature 21 prints depicting the residents of Guingamp and reflecting their pastimes, agriculture and relationship to animals
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is an annual award established by The Photographers’ Gallery, London, in 1997 and in partnership with the Deutsche Börse Group since 2005 to identify and support talent, excellence and innovation. In 2016 the prize was renamed to reflect its new position within the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, a specifically established non-profit organisation focused on the collecting, exhibiting and promoting of contemporary photography.
The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at a special award ceremony held at The Photographers’ Gallery on Thursday 14 May 2020.
The 2020 Jury
The members of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2020 are Martin Barnes, Senior Curator, Photographs, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom; Melanie Manchot, artist and photographer, based in London, United Kingdom; Joachim Naudts, Curator and Editor at FOMU Foto Museum in Antwerp, Belgium; Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt a. M., Germany; and Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery as the non-voting chair.
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