Prix Pictet Shortlist Unveiled

Work by twelve of the world’s leading photographers, one of whom will receive this year’s prestigious Prix Pictet photography prize for environmental sustainability will go on display for the first time at Purdy Hicks Gallery, London from 5 to 7 October.

The Prix Pictet is an annual search for photographs that communicate powerful messages of global environmental significance under a broad theme. This year that theme is ‘earth’. Photographers shortlisted for the £60,000 (CHF100,000) prize are Darren Almond, Christopher Anderson, Sammy Baloji, Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gursky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Nadav Kander, Ed Kashi, Abbas Kowsari, Yao Lu, Edgar Martins and Chris Steele-Perkins.

This London preview is two weeks in advance of the prize announcement and exhibition opening at the Passage de Retz in Paris on 22 October and a world tour of the exhibition.

Kofi Annan, honorary president of Prix Pictet said: ‘In just a few weeks time, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference. We know that there is a huge amount at stake. Experts warn of the potentially catastrophic costs including the spread of famine, disease and conflict unless we first halt and, eventually, reverse the changes we are causing to our atmosphere. The photographs nominated for the Prix Pictet make a compelling case to all of us – countries, businesses and individuals – to live in a more sustainable way. But there is an extra responsibility on those of us privileged to live in clean and healthy environments: to act to help those who do not. I congratulate all the artists who have been shortlisted for the 2009 prize. They have met their challenge. It is now up to the rest of us to do the same.’

For 2009 Pictet & Cie will support Azafady’s Voly Hazo project that aims to preserve the earth from degredation and the eventual desertification that is seen so widely in Madagascar with a programme of tree planting and preservation of the natural forest. One of the photographers shortlisted for the Prix Pictet will be commissioned to visit Madagascar with the Azafady team in order to produce a series of photographs that will highlight many of the issues that Azafady are focusing on in this unique and endangered environment. An exhibition of that work will launch the 2010 prize in the Spring 2010.

An independent jury of seven leading figures from the worlds of the visual arts and the environment, chaired by the Financial Times. photography critic, Francis Hodgson, made the shortlist selection from over 300 nominations put forward by the seventy Prix Pictet nominators – a group that includes leading critics, practitioners and curators.

Francis Hodgson, chair of the judges said ‘The artistic and technical quality of the entries from photographers around the world has been quite exceptional and the power of the messages the photographers have been able to communicate is extraordinary. The brief – to communicate sustainability issues through photography, with particular reference to this
year’s theme of ‘earth’ – has been interpreted with tremendous variety and vigour. Whether reporting in detail on development or aiming more broadly to stimulate thought, the photographers have achieved a very high level of impact. I and the other members of the panel look forward with keen anticipation to selecting the winner of this exciting and
prestigious prize.’

Earth is published by teNeues and includes the work of the 12 shortlisted artists and others nominated for the 2009 prize.All speak of the harmful and often irreversible effects of exploiting the earth’s resources and reflect on the immediate and long-term impact of unsustainable development on communities across the globe.

The full portfolios of each shortlisted artist will be shown at the Passage de Retz gallery in Paris from 23 October to 24 November, following the announcement of the winner and Azafady commission by Kofi Annan on 22 October.

Visitor information for Prix Pictet 2009
Exhibition: Prix Pictet 2009: Earth (London preview)
Purdy Hicks Gallery | 65 Hopton Street | Bankside | London SE1 9GZ
5 to 7 October 2009: 10am – 6pm | |

Exhibition: Prix Pictet 2009: Earth
Passage de Retz | 9 rue Charlot | 75003 Paris
23 October to 24 November 2009
Monday – Friday: 10am – 7pm | Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 8pm

For details of 2010 international touring venues visit

Fairs and festivals
FIAC | | 22 to 25 October 2009
Paris Photo | | 19 to 22 November 2009

Prix Pictet 2009 – Jury
Benoit Aquin, photographer and winner of the Prix Pictet 2008
Jan Dalley, Financial Times, Arts Editor
Loa Haagen Pictet, Danish art historian and curator of the Pictet & Cie collection of Swiss art.
Zaha Hadid, Founding Partner of Zaha Hadid Architects
Francis Hodgson, Photography Critic, Financial Times and former Head of Photography, Sotheby’s
Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and Director of the
Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University
Fumio Nanjo, Director, The Mori Art Museum

All images © the artists

Image One: Darren Almond, West Sea Canyon, 2009C-print, 270.7 x 109.2 cm, China. Courtesy the artist and Prix Pictet

Image Two: Ed Kashi, Nigeria, 2006Series: Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta. Archival inkjet, 40 x 50 cm, Rivers State Nigeria. Courtesy the artist and Prix Pictet

Image Three: Nadav Kander, Construction Mound, Chongqing, 2006Series: Yangtze, The Long River Series. Courtesy the artist and Prix Pictet

Image Four: Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast no.5707, 1998C-print, 100 x 150 cm, Japan. Courtesy the artist and Prix Pictet