Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama has won the 2019 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, which is worth SEK1,000,000 (approximately £80,700). Moriyama will now have a show at the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg this autumn, and a new book of his work will be published by Walther König. Born in Osaka in 1938, Moriyama studied photography under Takeji Iwamiya before moving to Tokyo in 1961 to work as an assistant to Eikoh Hosoe. Producing a series of images titled Nippon gekijō shashinchō [published in English as Japan: A Photo Theater], Moriyama created an impressionistic take on the dark side of urban life that soon became synonymous with Provoke magazine, a publication he helped produce in 1969. Celebrating images that were “are, bure, bokeh” [“grainy/rough, blurry, and out-of-focus’], and giving a critical view of post-war Japan, Provoke was short-lived but profoundly influential both at home and abroad. Moriyama is still creating new work, however, recently telling that Hasselblad Foundation that “It’s fun!”. “I just take photos, or want to take photos, so to do that, because my photos are snapshots …
Now in its 22nd year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is awarded each year to image-makers who’ve made the biggest contribution to the medium in the previous 12 months in Europe. This year the shortlisted artists are: Laia Abril, for her publication On Abortion; Susan Meiselas, for the retrospective exhibition Mediations; Arwed Messmer, for his exhibition RAF – No Evidence / Kein Beweis; and Mark Ruwedel, for the exhibition Artist and Society: Mark Ruwedel. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at The Photographers’ Gallery on 16 May 2019.
Patricia Karallis and Giada De Agostinis from the Lucie Award-nominated Paper Journal pick out the photography and projects that caught their eye – including Dave Heath’s Dialogues with Solitude at Le Bal, Paris
“This book….does not – and this I must emphasise – document life in the GDR [German Democratic Republic]. Rather, it shows how I saw this country and the people who lived here,” writes Roger Melis in the introduction to his book In a Silent Country, now published for the first time in an English edition.
“When selecting the photographs for this volume, I placed no demands on myself, and certainly did not try to comprehensively depict working and living conditions in the GDR,” he later adds. “…they focus on the everyday, and not on the spectacular. In my photographs, I only rarely attempted to capture a decisive, unrepeatable moment. The moments I always searched for were the ones in which whatever was special, unusual or temporary about people and things had dropped away, revealing the core of their being, their essence.”
In 2014, Troy Charles knocked on the door of 2411, Mason Avenue, Las Vegas, hoping to find his ex-girlfriend. Instead, he encountered Stefanie Moshammer, an Austrian photographer who was living in the US for three months to work on a project. They spoke for five minutes, exchanging a few sentences. One week later, Moshammer received a typewritten, 35-line love letter, which told her: “I can be your ticket to USA citizenship”. In Not just your face honey, which takes its title from another extract from the letter, Moshammer documents the ambivalent feelings this unforeseen, obsessive declaration of love provoked. Central themes include love, illusion and identity, as well as ideas of the past, present, and future. “Of course, the series is about my personal letter, but it’s also about Las Vegas and how men try pursue women through the movie-esque American dream,” she says. In the letter, Charles offered Moshammer marriage, a room in his house, and a “cute, special fast car that’s almost new”. Though intended to be romantic, the propositions struck her as sinister, …
“To look ahead we first need to look back in time,” write Kim Knoppers and Ann-Christin Bertrand, curators of Back to the Future: The 19th Century in the 21st Century – an exhibition that presents contemporary artists whose experimental approach to photography echoes that of the 19th century pioneers of the medium.