Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011

As a key event in the UK's photography calender, the 15th Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has finally opened it's doors at Ambika P3. The winner, to be heralded as the photographer who has made "the most significant contribution to photography in Europe between 1 October 2009 and 30 September 2010", will be announced on the 26 April from the shortlist of Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg, and Elad Lassry.

© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/ DACS

Demand’s concise yet strangely unsettling images explore German social and political life, with spaces ranging from the interior of the Bonn Parliament in the late 1960s to the artist’s’ childhood room. His works subtly reveal the mechanisms of their making, and challenge the viewer’s perception of reality by examining memory and photographic truth.

© Roe Ethridge/ Courtesy of Greengrassi London/ Andrew Kreps Gallery/ Mai 36 Gallery

Blurring the boundaries of the commercial with the editorial, and the mundane with the highbrow, Roe Ethridge’s conceptual approach to photography is a playful comment on the traditions and conventions of the medium itself. Often borrowing ‘outtakes’ from his own commercial photography work, Ethridge readily juxtaposes a catwalk shot with a still-life of a pumpkin or a pastoral scene of cows grazing. His distinct yet elusive and poetic groupings of portraits, landscapes and still lifes, create new associations and embrace the arbitrariness of the image and image making.

© Jim Goldberg/ Magnum Photos

Jim Goldberg’s series Open See documents the experiences of refugee, immigrant and trafficked populations who travel from war torn, socially and economically devastated countries to make new lives in Europe. Originating from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, these ‘new Europeans’ have met violence and brutality as well as hope and liberation in their new homes. Goldberg employs his varied and experimental approaches to photographic storytelling to reflect on issues of migration and the conditions for desiring escape through the exploitation of a range of photographic vernacular and moving image.

Image © Elad Lassry, Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery

In his seductive yet detached photographs and films, Elad Lassry highlights the strange in the over-familiar. Drawing on source material such as advertising and stock imagery for inspiration, Lassry’s over-saturated photographs are often collages of pre-existing images or newly staged studio photographs that allude to the visual language of product photography. Constantly shifting between ‘original’ and found materials, Lassry instigates a dialogue between photography and the moving image to explore ideas of authorship, originality and appropriation.

If you're excited, disgruntled or feeling generally pensive about the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, we've started a discussion on Facebook where you can bounce ideas around.