Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016’s Shortlist & Exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, UK, 15 April – 26 June; Gallery Entry at No Cost before 12.00 Daily

This Friday is the opening of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016 exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery which is the largest public gallery in London, United Kingdom, dedicated to photography.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016 is an annual prize established by The Photographers’ Gallery in 1996 and in partnership with Deutsche Börse Group since 2005. The £30,000 prize rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which is felt to have significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2014 and 30 September 2015.

Works by the shortlisted photographers will be exhibited  from 15 April until 26 June 2016 and subsequently presented at the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Frankfurt/Eschborn.

  • FREE entry before 12.00 daily.
  • The winner will be announced at a special award ceremony in 2016 during the run of the exhibition, and will receive the £30,000 prize (42,442.20 US Dollar at the current exchange rate).
  • The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation offers guided tours of its exhibition at Deutsche Börse’s headquarters The Cube in Eschborn. The regular tours are FREE of charge, in German and open to all interested visitors.

The four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016 are as follows:

Trevor Paglen (b. 1974, USA) selected for his exhibition The Octopus at Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany (20 June – 30 August 2015):

Paglen’s project represents complex topics like mass surveillance, data collection, classified satellite and drone activities and the systems of power connected to them. His installation comprises of images of restricted military and government areas, skylines showing the flight tracks of passing drones, sculptural elements and research assembled in collaboration with scientist, amateur astronomers and human rights activists.

The following video presents Photographing Secret Sites and Satellites | Meet Trevor Paglen:

Through his work Paglen demonstrates that secrets cannot be hidden from view, but that their traces and structures are visible evidence in the landscape.

Laura El-Tantawy (b. 1980, UK/Egypt), selected for her self-published photobook In the Shadow of the Pyramids (2015):

Covering from 2005 to 2014, this project depicts the atmosphere and rising tensions in Cairo in the events leading to and during the January revolution in Tahrir Square (2011-13). El-Tantawy grew up between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the US, with In the Shadow of the Pyramids she explores parallel narratives of her own family’s history with the search for identity of a troubled nation. She combines old family photographs and her own lyrical witness accounts with close up portraits of protestors and streets scenes that vividly express the violence and euphoria
of the crowds.

The following video presents Laura El-Tantawy – In The Shadow of the Pyramids:

Erik Kessels (b. 1966, The Netherlands) selected for his exhibition Unfinished Father, Fotografia Europea, Reggio Emilia, Italy (15 May – 31 July 2015):

In Unfinished Father Kessels reflects upon the fragmented realities of loss, memory and a life come undone as a result of his father’s debilitating stroke. Kessels uses his father’s unfinished restoration project of an old Fiat 500 as a  representation of his current condition. He brings pieces of the unassembled body of the Topolino car into the exhibition space and presents it alongside photographs of car parts and images that were taken by his father.

The following video presents Unfinished Father by Erik Kessels:

Tobias Zielony (b. 1973, Germany) selected for The Citizen, exhibited as part of the German Pavilion presentation at the 56th Biennale of Arts, Venice, Italy (9 May – 22 November 2015):

Mostly taken in Berlin and Hamburg Zielony’s photographs portray the lives and circumstances of African refugee activists living in Europe. Fleeing violence and oppression in their home countries many arrive to the West in search of freedom and security only to find themselves living as outsiders in refugee-camps without legal representation or work permits. Presented alongside the images are first person accounts, interviews and narratives published by Zielony in African newspapers and magazines and reporting on the immigrants’ experiences and journeys.

The following video presents Interview with Tobias Zielony, German Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2015 (For English subtitles, please click the cc button at the bottom right-hand side of the video):

Interview with Tobias Zielony, who is one of the artists who represent Germany at the Venice Art Biennale 2015. The interview is in German language, click cc for English subtitles. Tobias Zielony was born in 1973 in Wuppertal. He lives and works in Berlin. His work for the German Pavilion is titled “The Citizen”, 2015.

Fabrik. German Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2015. Interview with Tobias Zielony, May 7, 2015. Interview: Mirjam Baitsch.

Official info text:
Tobias Zielony’s series The Citizen is concerned with one of today’s most important political questions—the presence of ‘the other’, embodied by African refugees. Although the migration movements of our time are often reduced to the tragedies that occur at the external frontiers of the ‘fortress Europe’, Zielony’s view is directed towards the self portrayal of these people, their personal stories, their entitlement to be taken seriously as political subjects in Germany. They protest against the restrictions placed on their freedom of movement, against the prohibition to work or to study.
Zielony highlights this new self-confidence in his photographs, which he presents in large wall pieces reminiscent of the layout of the pages in a newspaper—the only thing missing is the text columns between the photographs. The empty spaces point towards the ruptures in the biographies of the individuals, along with all the details that are left out of public media debates. In return, Zielony has asked African authors and journalists to comment on his photographs. The results, in the form of newspaper articles, are on display in large showcases at the centre of the room. The other pages of these newspapers highlight the political and social reality of Africa, in quite a different way to the perspective from which it is seen in Europe. Copies of newspapers containing information provided by the people portrayed in Zielony’s photographs are available for visitors to take home.

Good Luck! / Bonne Chance!