In a world of fake news and misinformation, can we ever truly believe what we see? The Photographers’ Gallery, London, showcases four finalists from this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. The exhibition explores one project from each respective artist, viewed in separate rooms. When considered in conjunction to one another, the divided projects present correlations alive within modern photography, referencing social, political and cultural concerns.
For example, featured photographer Mark Neville (b. 1966) grapples with themes of identity and ecology through Parade (2019). The series focuses on the agribusinesses which occupy the picturesque countryside in Brittany, France. Brightly dressed residents are pictured amongst farm animals, disused cars and lush vegetation. A resulting photobook, accompanied by essays from the local farming community, reveals the group’s campaign for a more sustainable approach to European agriculture. By combining social documentary with fine art practices, Neville reveals a hidden narrative which is illuminated by photography.
Another highlighted project, The Blue Skies Project (2019) by Anton Kuster (b. 1974), reveals how digital media can uncover hidden narratives. 1078 polaroids display a blue sky, exempt of context or narrative. On discovering the locations of the images – every last known location of Nazi concentration camps – the collection takes on new meaning. An accompanying soundtrack by artist Ruben Samama (b. 1985) enlightens viewers, examining how grief and suffering is processed through commemoration. This collection exemplifies “photography’s unique ability to make visible what often lies invisible, forgotten or concealed.”
Exhibition opens 21 February. Find out more here.
Lead image: Anton Kusters, The Blue Skies Project, Fitzrovia Chapel, installation view, 2019 © Anton Kusters.