The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013’s four shortlisted artists are Mishka Henner, Chris Killip, Cristina De Middel and the artist duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery in May. 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 2010 and 30 September 2011. The four artists have been nominated for the following:
Mishka Henner 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 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 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.
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin 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 2Broomberg & 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.
Founded in 1996 by The Photographers’ Gallery, and now in its eighth 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 has been collaborating with Deutsche Börse Group as title sponsors since 2005. Winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012 was John Stezaker for this exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery (29 January – 18 March 2011). Other past winners include Paul Graham, Juergen Teller, Rineke Dijkstra and Richard Billingham.
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013, 19 April until 30 June, The Photographers Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW. thephotographersgallery.org.uk
1. Cristina de Middel, Jambo, from the series The Afronauts, 2012, © Cristina de Middel. Courtesy of the artist
2. Chris Killip, Youth on Wall, Jarrow, Tyneside, 1976, © Chris Killip. Courtesy of the artist
3. Mishka Hennner, SS98, Cerignola Foggia, Italy, 2012, © Mishka Henner. Courtesy of the artist
4. Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Plate 23, Aircraft, at right, is seen as it is about to fly into the World Trade Centre in New York on Tuesday. The aircraft was the second to fly into the tower Tuesday morning, 2011. © Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. Courtesy of the artist