Sophie Ristelhueber has won the 2010 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for her photographic work that often confounds traditional genres. But who would you vote for? Do you agree with the jury or should it have been Anna Fox with her compelling studies of the mundane and bizarre in British life, including her own? Or perhaps Zoe Leonard whose work is, in part, a commentary on photography itself? Or should Donovan Wylie, with his systematic documentation of the psychology and physical structure of the eponymous Maze Prison, have been awarded the prize? The jury made their decision on 17 March 2010. What’s your opinion?
How is this year’s selection within the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize reflective of the current state of photography?18 Comments »
The work on show for this year’s Prize exhibition addresses some specific topics and themes. In particular there are personal reflections on ‘home’, the power and presence of the built environment, social observation and conflict-scarred landscapes. The scale of work in the show ranges from 15 x 17.5 cm to 2.8 x 1.6 metres in size. There is tenderness, nostalgia and humour, as well as detached documentary. There is black and white as well as colour work, analogue and digitally-produced work. But do these topics and formats reflect the kind of photography being produced more generally? Have your say.
Editing, scale and context can dramatically change the way we view and experience photographs. The book form – one of the oldest ways of disseminating images – allows the photographer to determine the sequencing of her or his work and creates an intimate one-to-one relationship with the viewer. The gallery wall opens up endless possibilities in terms of size, scale, display and interaction with the work. The Internet can circulate images to far larger and wider audiences but can also restrict its viewers to looking at work on a small, plastic screen. What do you think is the best way to view photography and might there even be other possibilities?
Photographs are prone to digital manipulation, construction and tactical misuse. At worst we are bombarded by a constant onslaught of photographs, and at some point in that flood of imagery we may become numbed to the content of, or questions raised by, any photograph or series. But at best these strange windows still provide a unique way of sharing in someone else’s vision and experience of the world. In doing this they can challenge our presumptions, pushing us to understand situations and ideas that we may have passed by or never had an opportunity to bear witness to. Have your say about the rising, diminished or otherwise power of photography.
Rarely a month passes without the introduction of another photography prize. From the Sony World Photography Awards to the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait Photography prize, it seems as though there are now a plethora of prizes. Apart from indicating the rude health of this vibrant medium, what else could this signal? Has the climate of a reality TV-induced generation produced an insatiable appetite for competitions with little care given to the quality of individual work? Or do photography prizes help to focus audience’s attention on the most original, inspired and important images of our time? We’d love to have your views.