Image © Frank Hallam Day, courtesy of Leica.
Frank Hallam Day wins a €5000 cash prize, as well as a Leica M9-P camera and a lens worth more than €10,000. He will be presented with the award at the Rencontres d'Arles festival on 03 July.
"Throughout his career as a photographer, Frank Hallam Day has concerned himself with many different aspects of the medium," says Leica in a statement. "Following numerous projects with a focus on political issues, his work has now increasingly turned towards exploring the relationships between man and the environment. For this, he shoots predominantly at night to reveal a suggestive and ambiguous side of the world."
Alumascapes is the result of a month-long journey through Florida, where Day photographed "ultra-modern, high-tech and luxury" recreational vehicles entwined in the jungle landscapes, appearing "as essential islands of security in a dark and hostile environment."
"Day's images reveal that the relationship between man and the environment is more ambiguous than ever before," adds Leica. "This is further emphasised by the double-edged title of his portfolio. On the one hand, the word 'Alumascapes' is an invention created by the photographer to describe landscapes dominated by vehicles constructed from aluminium. Simultaneously, the title is also the brand name of an RV model that is seen in several of his images. Other models shown in his work bear names with similar connotations, like Wilderness, Mountaineer, Escaper, Cougar and Falcon. In their inference of a certain closeness to and simultaneous alienation from the world of nature, they too are characteristic of the paradoxical relationship between modern man and the environment. And this is precisely what the photographer reveals in his images: the brightly lit mobile homes cower and hide themselves between the trees."
Leica has also awarded Piotr Zbierski of Poland with the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award 2012 for his Pass by Me porfolio. The project, which Zbierski started five years ago, explores the expression of emotions and the question of to what extent they can alter reality. "He is particularly fascinated by chance encounters," says Leica. "In his images, he concentrates on faces, gestures, the expression of feelings and relationships."
Both photographers were selected from among more than 2800 entries from 101 different countries. The jury was composed of Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden, Stephan Erfurt of C/O Berlin, as well as Valérie Fougeirol, creative director of the Magnum Gallery in paris, Karin Rehn-Kaufman of the Leica Galerie in Salzburg, and Brigitte Schaller of Leica Fotografie International magazine.
For more information and to view the winners' images, visit www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.
Image © Piotr Zbierski.
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