The shortlist has been revealed for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2020, awarded to projects and artists deemed to have made the most significant contribution to photography in the past 12 months. Mohamed Bourouissa, Anton Kusters, Mark Neville and Clare Strand will compete for the £30,000 prize, originated by London’s Photographer’s Gallery 24 years ago.
Algerian artist Mohamed Bourouissa has been nominated for his exhibition Free Trade at Rencontres d’Arles, which took place in the unusual setting above a Monoprix supermarket, accessed by walking through the store. The exhibition considered the relationship between individuals and the complex systems of markets and capital, featuring works spanning 15 years and including Peripherique, which subverts the common stereotypes of youths living in the infamous banlieues of Paris; and All-In, a film in the style of a rap music video using the song _Fœtus_ by Booba, which shows the minting of a coin embossed with the counterfeit image of the rapper.
Belgian artist Anton Kusters is shortlisted for The Blue Skies Project exhibited at Fitzrovia Chapel in London. Each of the 1078 polaroid images in the installation shows an upward view of a blue sky shot at the last-known location of every former Nazi run concentration or extermination camp across Europe during WWII. For the project, Kusters meticulously researched these different and often forgotten sites of violence over the course of six years, and photographed them using a simple analogue photographic process of peel-apart instant film. The resulting images were then blind-stamped with the number of victims at that side and its GPS coordinates.
Mark Neville is nominated for his publication Parade, published by the Centre d’Art GwinZegal, Guingamp, France. Neville started the project on the day Britain voted to leave the EU, and based it on Guingamp, Brittany (“little Britain”) – a portrait of the provincial agricultural region. He then exhibited the series at the local football stadium where the farming community – which constitutes the primary demographic among Guingamp’s supporters – became both the subject of, and the principal audience, for his project. Outside this, the photographer also explored the economic drivers of the region, photographing different agribusinesses in the community and creating imagery that blurs the lines between planned, constructed photograph, and spontaneous snapshot.
Clare Strand is shortlisted for the exhibition The Discrete Channel with Noise, exhibited at PhotoEspana, Madrid. Inspired by George H. Eckhardt’s publication Electronic Television (1936), which offered an early study of how we might transmit images via telegraphic communication, Strand adopted the method as a means to explore the process of transmission and reception. The artist asked her husband to choose ten images from her archive of found photographs and transmit them to her by telephone using an agreed number code. A uniform grid of squares was applied to the original image, with each square allocated a number between one and 10, related to a tone of grey. Once received, Strand would use a large-scale version of the same grid to recreate the image by painting (using paint made to the same tonal range) onto paper. The resulting recreation or representation of the original image manifests a personal struggle with the interpretation of information.
An exhibition of the nominees’ work, curated by Anna Dannemann, will open at The Photographers’ Gallery from 21 February – 7 June 2020, then Deutsche Börse’s headquarters in Eschborn/Frankfurt from 26 June 2020. The winner will be announced on 14 May 2020. Last year’s winner was Susan Meiselas for Mediations, while previous winners include Juergen Teller, Dana Lixenberg and Oliver Chanarin.
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