Trevor Paglen Awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Trevor Paglen (b.1974) has been announced as the winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016 at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Presented by BBC journalist and HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur, the £30,000 prize was awarded to Paglen for his exhibition The Octopus. Held at Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, in summer 2015, the show sought to represent complex topics like mass surveillance, data collection, classified satellite and drone activities and the systems of power connected to them.

Paglen’s installations comprise images of restricted military and government areas, skylines showing the flight tracks of passing drones, sculptural elements and research assembled in collaboration with scientist, amateur astronomers and human rights activists. Through his work, the artist demonstrates that secrets cannot be hidden from view, but that their traces and structures are visible evidence in the landscape.

The photographer was selected by the following jury members: David Drake, Director Ffotogallery, Cardiff; Alfredo Jaar, Artist; Wim van Sinderen, Senior Curator at The Hague Museum of Photography; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director, Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation. Brett Rogers, non-voting Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery said: “The jury recognised Trevor Paglen’s project The Octopus for its significant contribution to current issues that deal with the disquieting impact of the unseen aspects of technology on our daily lives.”

The shortlisted artists for 2016, each awarded £3,000, are: Laura El-Tantawy (b. 1980) for her self-published photobook In the Shadow of the Pyramids (2015); Erik Kessels (b. 1966) for his exhibition Unfinished Father at Fotografia Europea, Reggio Emilia,(15 May-31 July 2015) and Tobias Zielony (b. 1973) for The Citizen, exhibited as part of the German Pavilion presentation at the 56th Biennale of Arts, Venice (9 May-22 November 2015).

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016, until 3 July, The Photographers’ Gallery, London. A second presentation will followed at the Deutsche Börse Headquarters in Frankfurt/Eschborn from 1 September-31 October.

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1. Trevor Paglen,  National Reconnaissance Office (2014). Courtesy of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016.