Visual taxonomies, a deeply affecting filmic study, and an exploration of governmental control; this year's Deutsche Börse Prize is a heady mixture of photography that addresses the production and manipulation of knowledge in society.
This year’s nominees are Mathieu Asselin, Rafal Milach, Batia Suter and Luke Willis Thompson; an exhibition showcasing their nomintated work is currently on display at the Photographers' Gallery London. The winner will be announced later this spring.
Here's all you need to know about this year's nominees:
French-Venezuelan documentary photographer Mathieu Asselin has seriously impressed us with his meticulous investigation into the environmental, social and economical impact of global biotechnology corporation Monsanto, for which he has been nominated. Over the last five years Asselin has documented the devastating effects of the company’s 'long and reckless story of growth', in his photo-series Monsanto: A Photographic Exploration. The enormity of his subject – love, death, persecution and grief to name but a few– is magnified by the ambitious nature of his project. His dark, and harrowing montage paints a bleak picture of a future blighted by excessive consumption.
Mathieu Asselin, Indiana, 2013. Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 opens on 23 February 2018 at The Photographers’ Gallery, London
Polish photographer Rafal Milach has been nominated for his ground-breaking exhibition Refusal, 2017, which tackles issues associated with sociotechnical systems of governmental control, propaganda and 'modern ruins' - multi-purpose buildings erected at speed due to government propaganda, and swiftly abandoned once said regime has been toppled. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Milach is best known for his polemic photographs that challenge the impact of didactic control on popular ideologies and consciousness in post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
Luke Willis Thompson
Packing a powerful punch is Luke Willis Thompson’s 35mm film autoportrait: a silent portrait of Diamond Reynolds, the American who filmed her boyfriend's shooting by a Minnesota police officer, and then posted it on Facebook. The video went viral, amassing over six million views; overnight Reynolds achieved a grim level of international celebrity.
Following Philando Castille's trial in 2017, the officer who shot Reynold's boyfriend was acquitted of all charges. Famed for her film on Facebook, Thompson wanted to capture the devastated woman in another equally haunting guise. Thompson's deeply affecting film study of grief was created following the shooting in 2016 and reacts to the original chaotic footage captured by Reynolds at the time of the shooting.
Born in Auckland in 1988, Thompson explores subtle, but ever-present themes of racial and social injustice in his work.
Rafal Milach, Quba, 2016. Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 opens on 23 February 2018 at The Photographers’ Gallery, London
Swiss photographer Batia Suter’s has been nominated for her monumental study Parallel Encyclopedia #2. Known for creating works that situate familiar objects in unfamiliar surroundings, Batia Suter is one of the most thought-provoking and challenging documentary photographers working today. Parallel Encyclopedia #2, a digitally manipulated image composed from roughly 1000 diverse publications collected by the artist, explores the complex relationships between individuals, cultures and histories, and challenges our preconceptions of the world around us.
Although wide-ranging in style and approach, all of the shortlisted projects reflect a shared concern with the production and manipulation of knowledge.
|What||Deutsche Börse Prize, 2018, Photographers' Gallery, London|
|Where||The Photographers' Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Oxford Circus (underground)|
23 Feb 18 – 03 Jun 18, Thursday: 10am - 8pm, Sunday: 11am - 6pm
|Website||Click here fore more information via the Photographers' Gallery|