The Rencontres d’Arles festival, a definite stop-off place for those with an eye out for the truly new and extraordinary in the photographic world, has just announced the shortlist for the fourth Prix Pictet.
With the singularly compelling subject of Power, the 12 shortlisted photographers from ten countries present a true spectrum of unique perspectives. From the veteran lenses of Joel Sternfeld, whose images capture “moments of horror” on the faces of attendees to the 11 United Nations Conference on Climate Change as they hear about ecological collapse, to Robert Adams – the oldest nominee – whose documentations of deforestation in the American Northwest are as terrible as they are moving.
Also covering human power-play on the environment is Daniel Beltrá with his vivid, false colour photos of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The reclaiming of destroyed, deserted, demilitarised space by nature is portrayed through disparate but affecting scenes in Chernobyl (Rena Effendi), abandoned “defences” in European waters (Carl De Keyzer) and in the disturbed landscape of Fukushima (Philippe Chancel).
The complexities of the subject have also been interpreted in straightforward terms of loss and gain – with documents of conflict and the consequences thereof depicted in contrasting realities. From board rooms to battle grounds (Luc Delahaye and An-My Lê notably), ghostly spaces used for incarceration (Edmund Clark) to the fight, political and physical, over territory (Mohamad Bourouissa and Guy Tillim) – all of which represent something we identify as a direct assertion of power.
The winner will be announced in October and an exhibition of all shortlisted photographers hosted by the Saatchi Gallery in London.
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