Deutsche Börse Prize 2012 Shortlist Announced

The four artists shortlisted for the Photography Prize 2012 are:

Pieter Hugo
Rinko Kawauchi
John Stezaker
Christopher Williams

Source: British Journal of Photography

British photographer John Stezaker has been shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012 alongside South African Pieter Hugo, Japanese Rinko Kawauchi and US Christopher Williams.

Organised by The Photographers’ Gallery in London, the competition comes with a £30,000 cash prize, which will be awarded to one of the four shortlisted photographers next summer. The photographers were selected for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which “has significantly contributed to photography in Europe. The four photographers were selected by a panel of jurors that included François Hébel of Les Rencontres d’Arles; photographer Martin Parr; Beatrix Ruf, director and curator of the Kunsthalle Zürich; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, a curator for Deutsche Börse’s art collection.

The jury was chaired by Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery, who comments: “Each finalist addresses in a timely way issues of critical importance within contemporary photography. Operating between portraiture and social documentary, Pieter Hugo confronts us with the unsettling reality of the impact of e-waste in Ghana; Rinko Kawauchi brings her highly personal sensibility to bear on fragments of everyday life; John Stezaker demonstrates a rigorous exploration of the subversive force of the found image; and finally, alluding to the language of commercial photography, Christopher Williams continuously questions the aesthetic conventions and communication tools that influence our perception of reality.” Works by the shortlisted photographers will be shown in an exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery next summer.

Pieter Hugo (b.1976, South-Africa) is nominated for his publication Permanent Error, published by Prestel (Germany, 2011). Permanent Error centres on a vast dumping ground for technological waste on the outskirts of Ghana’s capital city. Focusing on the young slum-dwellers who are burning the discarded, industrial rubbish to survive, Hugo’s stark photographs of this bleak landscape expose the consequences and ethics of disposal of the West’s consumption of ever-new technology.

Rinko Kawauchi (b.1972, Japan) is nominated for her publication Illuminance, published by Editions Xavier Barral (France, 2011). In her work, Kawauchi creates an imaginary space where the fantastical is possible— evoking moments of dreams, memory and temporality. The images in her book Illuminance, the results of both commissions and personal projects, span fifteen years of her practice and have the ability to turn the mundane into the extraordinary and poetic.

John Stezaker (b.1949, UK) is nominated for his exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (29 January – 18 March 2011). Spanning more than 40 years, Stezaker’s collages re-examine the multi-facetted relationships we have to the photographic image. Through his elegant and often perplexing juxtapositions of appropriated images found in books, magazines, and postcards, Stezaker adopts the content and contexts of the original images to convey his own witty and poignant meanings.

Christopher Williams (b. 1956, USA) is nominated for his exhibition Kapitalistischer Realismus at Dům umění České Budějovice, Budweis, Czech Republic (5 May – 12 June 2011). As much conceptual artist as photographer, Williams has been creating images of cameras, models, vehicles and other technical apparatus for the last 40 years. Alluding to and borrowing from the world of commercial photography he continuously questions what can constitute a photograph and how much the actual visual content of that photograph matters.

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