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Shortlist announced for 2018 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, interrogating “the status of the image in contemporary culture”


Rafal Milach: Anaklia, Georgia, 2013

The shortlist has been announced for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018, comprising Mathieu Asselin, Rafal Milach, Batia Suter and Luke Willis Thompson. The £30,000 prize rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format in Europe felt to have significantly contributed to the medium of photography between 1 September 2016 and 30 September 2017.

The shortlisted artists cover a wide range of styles and approaches, but according to the judges “reflect a shared concern with the production and manipulation of knowledge and systems of representation through visual forms.

“The works encompass a searing photographic interrogation of global biotech giant, Monsanto (Asselin); an expansive portrayal of the ubiquitous tactics of government control and propaganda (Milach); an encyclopaedic collection of visual taxonomies that expose the shifting and relative meanings of printed images depending on their context (Suter); and a deeply affecting filmic study of grief that reflects the personal stakes of visual representation (Thompson),” say the organisers. “Collectively and individually, the four projects drive forward an artistic enquiry into the mechanics of visibility and concealment and interrogate the status and position of the image in contemporary culture.”

The winner of the annual prize will be announced at a ceremony in London on 17 May 2018 in London, and will have works exhibited at the Photographer’s Gallery from the 23 February, before the exhibition tours Europe. Past winners include Trevor Paglen, Paul Graham, Juergen Teller, Rineke Dijkstra, Richard Billingham and Oliver Chanarin.


Mathieu Asselin: Thuý Linh, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 2015


Mathieu Asselin: Van Buren, Indiana, 2013


Rafal Milach: Khyrdalan, Azerbaijan, 2016


Batia Suter: Parallel Encyclopedia #2, 2016


Batia Suter: Carnation, 2015


Luke Willis Thompson: Autoportrait, 2017


Luke Willis Thompson: Autoportrait, 2017