Top photographers to win cash prizes

Four freelance photographers have been shortlisted for their unparalleled contributions to European photography.

Each is competing for the prestigious The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, which is given every year to an outstanding practitioner.

Run by the Photographer’s Gallery, the prize aims to raise the profile of each photographer’s work by showcasing the images they’ve produced in the 12 months to September 2006.

The London-based organisers have compiled a jury of international photography experts, who will judge which freelance has made the most significant contribution to the medium.

They hope the event will increase the audience for contemporary photography, while acting as a focus for debate on the role photography plays in society.

Not only will the winner receive a grand first place prize of £30,000 but the accolade of being the Deutsche Börse Photographer of 2007 will win them unprecedented exposure.

Unlike the previous nine years the prize has been given, the runners-up will not go away empty-handed, as all three are guaranteed a finalist’s prize of £3,000.

The four shortlisted photographers in the exhibition, which is free to attend, are: Philippe Chancel; Anders Petersen, Fiona Tan and The Atlas Group.

Their citations as finalists, below, are from The Photographer’s Gallery:

Philippe Chancel (b. 1959, France) nominated for the exhibition DPRK, shown at the Arles Photography Festival, France, 4 July - 17 September 2006.

Chancel has worked as a photographer for the last 30 years, investigating the shifting and complex terrain between art, documentary and journalism.

Taken in North Korea in 2005, the crisp, colour photographs in DPRK provide a clinical and detached comment on the monumental, political narcissism that the country operates under. The exhibition features a selection of his large-scale photographs from DPRK.

Anders Petersen (b. 1944, Sweden) nominated for the exhibition About Gap and St Etienne, shown at the Arles Photography Festival, France, 4 July - 17 September 2006.

This series is the result of a residency in these southern French towns in 2005, and exudes a poetic sadness, restlessness and sense of urgency that is characteristic of all his photography.

Petersen first became known for his seminal series Café Lehmitz (1978), a daily chronicle of a Hamburg coffee shop frequented by transvestites, prostitutes and harbour workers. Since then he has continued to explore the fringes of society with his camera. The exhibition features a selection from About Gap and St Etienne.

Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon) nominated for the exhibition The Atlas Group Project at Hamburger Bahnhof — Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin, Germany,
22 September 2006 - 7 January 2007.

The Atlas Group, a project undertaken by Walid Raad between 1989 and 2004, researched and documented the contemporary history of Lebanon.

However, the authenticity of the photographic and video documents in this archive is continuously queried, leaving the viewer uncertain how history — in particular one marked by the trauma of civil war — can be told and visually represented.

The exhibition includes a selection from ‘We decided to let them say, “we are convinced,” twice,’ a series of large-scale photographs taken by Walid Raad in the summer of 1982 of the Israeli Army’s invasion and siege of Beirut.

Fiona Tan (b. 1966, Indonesia) nominated for the exhibition Mirror Maker shown at Landesgalerie in Linz, Austria, 1 June - 20 August 2006.

Combining photography and film, the exhibition Mirror Maker included past and recent projects dealing with portraiture and the nature of photography.

Central to Fiona Tan’s work is the human subject. She questions and explores the complexities of culture and place, and how these elements come to shape our individual identity.

The Prize exhibition features two of her most recent projects. Vox Populi (Sydney), displays images from over 90 photo albums by Sydney residents. In the video installation The Changeling (2006), a Japanese school girl stares out of her portrait while she recalls, as an older woman, her mother and grandmother.


The Deutsche Börse Photography exhibition will be presented at The Photographers’ Gallery in London from February 9 - April 9 2007.

The £30,000 award will be announced and presented to the winner at the Gallery on March 21 2007.



 

9th February 2007

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