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Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013: Shortlist Announced

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

Mishka Henner, Chris Killip, Cristina De Middel and the artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is awarded anualy to a living photographer for a specific body of work in exhibition or publication format. The award, open to artists of any nationality, is given to one artist who has significantly contributed to photography in Eruope between October 2011 and September 2012. The four named artists, Mishka Henner, Chris Killip, Cristina De Middel and the artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, are all strong candidates; their work will exhibit at the Photogarphers' Gallery in May 2012 and the winner will be announced.

The photographic duo, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were nominated for their publication War Primer 2. The screenshots and low-res images grabbed from the internet focused on the "War on Terror;" their text is a contemporary answer to the original War Primer (1955) published by Bertolt Brecht where WWII newspaper clippings were paired with short poems that sought to demystify press images. Then and now the War Primers have offered critique on conflict photographs and their dissemination.

Mishka Henner also engages themes of public domain. Nominated for his Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma exhibition, No Man's Land, the work uses and critiques with the same lense- a car-mounted camera. Henner explores the margins of urban and rural Europe through images made through Google Street View. Locations sex workers frequent became the locus of his interest. Through identification of sites suggested in online forums Henner identifies and visits the local and shoots his images using car-mounted cameras; the lines of voyeurism privacy and online information gathering all blur in his work.

Hitting a more documentary tone is the work of Chris Killip. The Brittish photograher was nominated for his exhibition What Happened Great Britian 1970- 1990 at Le Bal, Paris. The studied series of black and white prints is stark and grave and chronicles the deterioration of the industrial force of Britain and its working class communities of north England. Killip lifts the veil on socio-political realities through his resonant work- it is no wonder the images are so powerful; Killip immersed himself in the lives of his subjects and personal stories pour from the frames.

Turning a bit more toward the invented, the publication The Afronauts of Cristina De Middle is a play between myth and truth. In self serious yet impossible frames the story of the Zambia's space program plays out. After Zambia gained its independence in 1964 a move was made to initiate a space program. The aim was to send the first African Astronauts to Mars, and the dream led by Edward Makuka Nkoloso, the sole member of the National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy, was born; almost as quickly, it was cancled. The story has become a playful part of the nation's history, and for De Middle the focus of work. Through constructed color images, sequenced drawings, and reproductions of letters we see emerge the fictional portrait of a national dream.

For more on the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize please visit the Photographers' Gallery

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