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Shortlist Announced for Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014

Posted By Administration, Saturday, November 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

Alberto García-Alix, Jochen Lempert, Richard Mosse and Lorna Simpson


The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 is presented by The Photographers' Gallery, London. The annual award of £30,000 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013.

The four artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 are Alberto García-Alix, Jochen Lempert, Richard Mosse and Lorna Simpson. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at The Photographers' Gallery on 12 May 2014. Works by the shortlisted photographers will be shown in an exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery followed by its presentation at the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Frankfurt/Eschborn.

The four shortlisted artists have been nominated for the following projects:

Alberto García-Alix (b. 1956, Spain) is nominated for his publication Autorretrato/Selfportrait, La Fabrica Editorial (2013). The book features black and white self-portraits which offer an insight into the artist's life over nearly four decades. These include the upheavals at the end of Franco's dictatorship in the early 70s through newly gained liberties in the mid-80s and into the present day. The works reflect a life of both intimacy and excess, where photography is used to mediate experiences, fears, neuroses and inner battles. His tense and lyrical images blur – visually and metaphorically – the line between self-reflection and staged portraits. In his wider practice, García-Alix also combines photography with writing and video work.

Jochen Lempert (b. 1958, Germany) is nominated for his exhibition Jochen Lempert at Hamburger Kunsthalle (22 June – 29 Sept 2013). Originally trained as a biologist, Lempert has been using photography since the early 1990s to study humans and the natural world. His approach is scientific and poetic as well as humorous. Always working in black and white, his work engages with a diverse range of subjects and genres, ranging from everyday views, to abstracted details. Photographic series alternate with single pictures, highly contrasted images with almost blank papers, through which multiple links and subtle associations are woven.

Richard Mosse (b.1980, Ireland) is nominated for his exhibition The Enclave at Venice Biennale, Irish Pavilion (1 June – 24 November 2013). Mosse documents a haunting landscape touched by appalling human tragedy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where 5.4 million people have died of war related causes since 1998. Shot on discontinued military surveillance film, the resulting imagery registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, and renders the jungle warzone in disorienting psychedelic hues. At the project's heart are the points of failure of documentary photography. It is an attempt to find an alternate strategy to adequately communicate this complex and horrific cycle of violence.

Lorna Simpson (b. 1960, USA) is nominated for her exhibition Lorna Simpson (Retrospective) at Jeu de Paume, Paris (28 May - 1 September 2013). Simpson's work links photography, text, video installations, most recently archival material and found objects. Emphasizing a conceptual and performative approach, she explores themes of gender, identity, culture, memory and body. Simpson works within the charged duality of past and present, word and image but also plays with the interplay between still and moving images.

The members of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 jury are: Kate Bush, Curator; Jitka Hanzlová, Artist; Thomas Seelig, Director/Curator, Fotomuseum Winterthur; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany. Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers' Gallery, is the non-voting Chair.

Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers' Gallery and Chair of the Jury said: Each of this year's nominees proposes compelling new ways to expand our thinking about the medium. Image and text underpin Lorna Simpson's unique approach to interrogating gender and identity, whilst for Garcia-Alix, the camera becomes an extension of his psyche - 'a way of seeing which is a way of being'. In drawing our attention to anthropomorphism, Jochen Lempert combines the precision of a scientist with the lyricism of a poet. For Richard Mosse, discontinued military surveillance film provides both the medium and the message, transforming the horror and brutality of war into a surreal form of documentary.

Frank Klaas, Managing Director Global Public Affairs, Deutsche Börse said: This year's shortlist once again shows the vitality and broad variety of approaches to contemporary photography. We are impressed by the jury's excellent selection and very much look forward to the 2014 exhibition– especially as it marks our 10th anniversary as sponsor of Europe's most renowned photography prize.

For more information on this story, please visit The Photographers' Gallery

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