John Davies, Jacob Holdt, Esko Männikkö and Fazal Sheikh have been selected for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008, open 8 February – 6 April 2008. This year’s shortlist demonstrates a focused and sustained commitment to exploring subjects of social and political importance through photography.
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008 is presented by The Photographers’ Gallery, London, the opening venue for the exhibition. The Annual Prize of £30,000 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, who has made the most significant contribution to the medium of photography in Europe between 1 October 2006 and 30 September 2007.
The selected photographers are:
John Davies (b. 1949, UK) has been nominated for The British Landscape at the National Media Museum, Bradford, UK (13 October 2006 – 4 February 2007). His panoramic black & white photographs, taken between 1979 – 2005, document the changing post-industrial British landscape. Coolly detached and combining the monumental with the banal, these works are an ongoing and in-depth study of the relationship between our social, economic and industrial history.
Jacob Holdt (b. 1947, Denmark) has been nominated for his publication Jacob Holdt, United States 1970 – 1975, published by Steidl GwinZegal, Germany (2007). In the early 1970s, Holdt spent five years hitchhiking across the US, living with and documenting the lives of the people he met - from the poorest Southern sharecroppers to some of America’s wealthiest families. Part travelogue, part political essay his images expose social and racial injustice in Nixon’s America and present a powerful tale of human intimacy, poverty, alienation and protest.
Esko Männikö (b. 1959, Finland) has been nominated for his retrospective Cocktails 1990 - 2007 at Millesgården, Stockholm, Sweden (1 September – 4 November 2007). A portraitist of isolation, Männikkö documents with great humour, warmth and integrity the lives of those who inhabit the periphery. Cocktails featured a selection of portraits, still life and landscape photographs from series such as Finnish Series, Organized Freedom and Harmony Sisters. Shown in assorted found wooden frames, weathered by time, his images acquire a timeless, almost painterly quality.
Fazal Sheikh (b. 1965, USA) has been nominated for his publication Ladli, published by Steidl, Germany (2007). Sheikh is an artist-activist who uses photography to create sustained portraits of different communities around the world. His latest project Ladli examines the effects of enduring prejudices against women in contemporary Indian society and highlights – through his powerful black-and-white portraits and the accompanying individual testimonies – the extent to which some women in India are still victims of ancient religious and cultural codes.
The Jury for this year is:
Els Barents, Director, Huis Marseille (The Netherlands), Jem Southam, photographer (UK), Thomas Weski, Chief Curator, Haus der Kunst (Germany) and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse (Germany). The Chair is Brett Rogers.
Brett Rogers, Chair and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, said:
“This selection champions the work of four highly distinctive and individual voices within the photography world. They all share a strong commitment to their chosen subject having developed a concentrated body of work over a sustained period of time. Covering a broad geographic terrain from Finland, to India, America and Britain, each of the four photographers address issues of critical importance and highlight the crucial role photography plays in our understanding of life in the 21st century.”
Alexandra Hachmeister, in charge of Corporate Responsibility for Deutsche Börse, stated:
“We are very pleased to announce, together with The Photographers' Gallery, the four shortlisted artists of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008. As title sponsor we are once again delighted to see the broad variety of issues as well as different approaches to the medium photography. The works reflect the aims of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, being an international and contemporary photography award. We are looking forward to exhibiting the work of the four shortlisted artists at C/O Berlin and in our headquarters in Frankfurt next year.”
The Photographers’ Gallery continues its commitment to showcasing new talent and highlighting the best of international photographic practice with generous support from the title sponsor, Deutsche Börse Group. The Prize continues as one of the most prominent exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery and is amongst the most prestigious international arts awards.
Deutsche Börse Group is the world’s largest exchange organisation and a major sponsor of photographic art. The Group owns an extensive art collection of contemporary photography which, to date, includes more than 600 works, most of them large-scale, by over 60 international artists. In addition, Deutsche Börse organises exhibitions for young artists in the Group’s global headquarters in Frankfurt and Luxembourg and sponsors photographic exhibitions in Europe.