The Afronauts © Cristina De Middel.
Emerging photographers and artists Cristina De Middel and Mishka Henner will face off established photographers Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, and Chris Killip, in the 2013 edition of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize
Mishka Henner, Chris Killip, Cristina De Middel and artist-duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin have been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013, worth £30,000.
The annual award is given to a living photographer of any nationality for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format that has contributed significantly to photography in Europe between 01 October 2011 an 30 September 2012.
The four photographers were selected by a jury composed of artist Joan Fontcuberta; Andrea Holzherr, exhibition manager at Magnum; Karol Hordziej, artistic director of the Krakow Photomonth; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, curator of the art collection at Deutsche Börse. Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers' Gallery, is the non-voting chair of the jury.
De Middel was selected for her debut photobook The Afronauts, which looks at Zambia's space programme launched in the 1960s. "In The Afronauts, De Middel creates a subjective version of the story, engaging with myths and truths," say the judges. "The book is comprised of a series of constructed colour photographs, sequenced alongside drawings and reproductions of letters, resulting in a fictional portrait of a national dream." In its December edition, BJP selected De Middel's The Afronauts as the best debut photobook of 2012.
Broomberg & Chanarin are nominated for their publication War Primer 2, published this year by Mack. "The limited-edition book physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht's publication War Primer (1955)," say the judges. "In the original, Brecht matched WWII newspaper clippings with short poems that sought to demystify press images, which he referred to as hieroglyphics. In War Primer 2, Broomberg & Chanarin focus on the war on terror; sifting through the internet for low-resolution screengrabs and mobile phone images, the artists then combined them to resonate with Brecht's poems. Through this layering of photographic history, Broomberg and Chanarin offer a critique of photographs of contemporary conflict and their dissemination – a theme that has been at the centre of their practice for 15 years."
Henner has been nominated for his exhibition No Man's Land at Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (20 September – 28 October 2012). "In No Man's Land, Henner explores the margins of European urban and rural environments with images produced using Google Street View. Identifying geographic locations from online forums where men share information on the whereabouts of sex workers, Henner visits and records these sites using the mechanical gaze of car-mounted cameras," reads a statement issued by The Photographers' Gallery. "Henner's work poses complex questions about the blurring of boundaries between voyeurism, online information-gathering and privacy rights."
Killip has been selected for his exhibition What Happened Great Britain 1970-1990 at Le Bal in Paris. "In this series of stark black-and-white images, Killip chronicles the disintegration of industrial Britain in working-class communities in the north of England. Immersing himself in the lives of the people he documented, Killip tells personal stories of men at work set against a backdrop of socio-political upheaval."
The winner will be announced in May 2013 at The Photographers' Gallery.
"This year's jury selected four artists whose work represents four distinct and significant positions within contemporary photography," says Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers' Gallery. "Chris Killip for his singular and timeless vision reinterpreting the possibilities of documentary practice; Broomberg & Chanarin for their surgical examination of images of conflict using Brecht's War Primer as their source; Mishka Henner for appropriating the archive of Google Street View photographs to examine the landscape of today's sex workers; and Cristina De Middel's mockumentary on the Zambian space programme, which confidently blurs the boundaries of fact and fiction in a highly original way."
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