The exhibition of works by the finalists of Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is taking place at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main for the second time.
The 2017 selection not only pays tribute to established photographic narratives but also honours experimental and conceptual approaches in documentary, landscape and portrait photography. The 2017 finalists are Sophie Calle, Dana Lixenberg, Awoiska van der Molen and the artist duo Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. The winner of this year's prize is Dana Lixenberg.
All four finalists are concerned with issues such as truth versus fiction, what is certain or uncertain, what distinguishes the real from the ideal, or the relationship between observing and being observed.
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is awarded annually to a contemporary photo artist of any nationality, and who in the preceding year has made a significant contribution to photography in the form of an exhibition or publication in Europe. One of the world's most prestigious photography prizes, it calls attention to pioneering tendencies in contemporary photography and features the artists whose works help shape the current international photography scene.
Sophie Calle (b.1953, Paris) has been nominated for her publication My All (2016) which finds the artist experimenting with yet another medium – the postcard set. Taking stock of her entire œuvre, this set of postcards functions as a beautiful portfolio of Calle's work, as well as a new investigation of it, in an appropriately nomadic format. Her most recent work "My mother, my cat, my father, in that order" – which will be shown at the exhibition – is a reflection on her life and career to date, examining the transitory nature of relationships and the persistence of memory. The newly printed photographs of objects she identifies with her loved ones are exhibited alongside personal text panels written by Calle.
The dutch artist Dana Lixenberg (b. 1964, Amsterdam) has been nominated for her publication Imperial Courts (2015). In 1992, Dana Lixenberg travelled to South Central Los Angeles for a magazine story on the riots that erupted following the verdict in the trial of African American Rodney King who was victim of unjustified police violence. What she encountered inspired her to revisit the area, and led her to the community of the Imperial Courts housing project in Watts. Returning countless times over the following twenty-two years, Lixenberg gradually created a collaborative portrait of the changing face of this community. Over the years, some in the community were killed, while others disappeared or went to jail, and others, once children in early photographs, grew up and had children of their own. In this way, Imperial Courts constitutes a complex and evocative record of the passage of time.
Awoiska van der Molen (b. 1972, Groningen) has been nominated for her exhibition Blanco at Foam Fotografie Museum, Amsterdam (22 Jan - 3 Apr 2016). Van der Molen creates black and white, abstracted images that revitalise the genre of landscape photography. Spending long periods of time in solitude and silence in foreign landscapes, from Japan to Norway to Crete, she explores the identity of the place, allowing it to impress upon her its specific emotional and physical qualities.
The artist duo Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (both b. 1979, Switzerland) has been nominated for the exhibition EURASIA at Fotomuseum Winterthur (24 Oct 15 - 14 Mar 16). EURASIA playfully draws on the iconography of the road trip constructing experiences drawn from memory and imagination. Throughout their travels through Ukraine and Georgia to Mongolia the duo encounters people and landscapes in a state of ongoing transition from ancient traditions and post-Communist structures to modernity and the formation of an independent identity.
The works of the finalists were on display at The Photographers' Gallery in London and will be shown at MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main from 29 June to 17 September 2017, before travelling to Aperture Foundation in New York from 15 November to 11 January 2018.
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