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Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

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Category: Competitions

Winner of Deutsche Börse Photography Prize - Paul Graham's photographic short stories of life in contemporary America has won him the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

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Press Release:
The Photographers' Gallery
Paul Graham, has been awarded the 2009 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. At a special ceremony on Wednesday 25 March 2009, Jefferson Hack, co-founder of Dazed & Confused, presented the £30,000 award. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2009 is presented by The Photographers’ Gallery and is on show until 12 April 2009.

The Prize is awarded to an international photographer for their significant contribution to the medium of photography through either an exhibition or publication, in Europe between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2008. Paul Graham won for his publication a shimmer of possibility.

A shimmer of possibility comprises twelve individual volumes of photographic short stories of life in contemporary America. Graham infuses lyricism into the most mundane of everyday human activities – fetching mail or lighting a cigarette – and creates quiet photographic moments, ‘filmic haikus’, which suggest and hint at a narrative but ultimately remain open-ended. At once poetic and political, his photographs manage to draw out something truly profound from the almost-nothingness of everyday life.

Paul Graham was chosen by the Jury members, David Campany (writer/lecturer, University of Westminster, UK); David Goldblatt (photographer, South Africa); Chus Martínez (Chief Curator, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain); and Anne-Marie Beckmann (Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany).

The other shortlisted artists in this year’s Prize, each awarded £3,000, are: Emily Jacir (b.1970, Kuwait), Tod Papageorge (b.1940, USA) and Taryn Simon (b.1975, USA). The selection this year reflects the diversity of contemporary photographic practice and highlights issues of critical importance in our lives. For further information on each of the photographers’ work on display please visit the gallery website. 

Brett Rogers, non-voting Chair and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery said, on behalf of the jury: "a shimmer of possibility sees Paul Graham pushing the photographic medium in many ways – through his acute observation of ‘bare’ life and diagnosis of the mood of contemporary America through its smallest details. Few photographic projects ever reach this level of subtlety, sensitivity and complexity."

Alexandra Hachmeister, Head of Corporate Responsibility for Deutsche Börse, stated: "As title sponsor for the fifth year, we are delighted how the reputation of the Prize has developed, being the most prestigious photography prize in Europe today. We thank all those who have contributed – the Gallery staff, the Academy, the jury and above all the artists. We congratulate Paul Graham on being awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2009."

The Gallery is delighted to have been collaborating with Deutsche Börse Group as sponsors of the Photography Prize since 2005. Deutsche Börse Group is one of the world largest exchange organisations and a major sponsor of photographic art. Further information on Deutsche Börse Group and its photography collection can be found on the Deutsche Boerse website.

The exhibition will tour to C/O Berlin (29 May – 29 June 09) and to Frankfurt in late Summer. To find out more about the touring dates and venues please visit the Photographers Gallery website.


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