Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010

The winner of the annual Deutsche Börse Photography Prize was announced on 17 March 2010: Sophie Ristelhueber. Other photographers, who were shortlisted for this year’s prize, are: Anna Fox, Zoe Leonard and Donovan Wylie. The price is presented by The Photographers’ Gallery, London. The Photographers' Gallery was the opening venue for the exhibition.

On 12 May, the exhibition “Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010” opened at the Frankfurter Kunstverein and was presented there until 25 July 2010.

The Jury

The Jury this year was: Olivia Maria Rubio (Director of Exhibitions, La Fàbrica, Spain); Gilane Tawadros (Chief Executive, Design Artists Copyright Society, curator and writer); James Welling (artist, USA); and Anne-Marie Beckmann (Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany). Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, was the non-voting Chair.

The Shortlist

Country Girls 1999, From the series Country Girls 1996 - 2001; © Anna Fox and Alison Goldfrapp

Anna Fox

(born in 1961 in the UK) is nominated for her exhibition, Cockroach Diaries & Other Stories at Ffotogallery, Cardiff (28 July – 10 October 09), initiated by Impressions, Bradford.
She first attracted attention through her 1988 documentary study of London office life in the mid-1980s, “Work Stations: Office Life in London” as part of a new wave of British colour documentary photographers that included Martin Parr (who taught her) and Paul Graham.
Her most recent exhibition, Cockroach Diaries & Other Stories at Fotogallery, Cardiff, shows autobiographic narratives designed as miniatures, revealing the tragic yet comic nature of a crumbling social framework, combining photographic evidence and frustrated diary entries: “3rd September 1996: splattered roach with orange shoe on bathroom wall – very drunk”.
Her work, subtle and satirical at the same time, also has an oblique, gothic sensibility that reveals the darkness in apparently ordinary situations. The fact that she uses colour photography - a medium not usually associated with shadowy, imaginative renderings - gives her work an extra layer of oddity, particularly as it has moved increasingly in narrative directions.

Image from Analogue, 1998-2009; © Zoe Leonard. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne

Zoe Leonard

(born in 1961 in the USA) is nominated for her retrospective exhibition, ZOE LEONARD: Photographs, at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (1 April – 5 July 09), initiated by Fotomuseum Winterthur.
For more than 20 years, Zoe Leonard has engaged in highlighting contrasts such as nature and civilisation, the inner and the outer world and gender roles. She is an autodidactic photographer. At the centre of her interest are inconspicuous or seemingly irrelevant ordinary issues, which she approaches with great patience and often almost tender respect in order to make them speak. The artist first became known when she attended the documenta IX in 1992 in Kassel, followed by another visit in 2007. Zoe Leonard is co-founder of the feminist collective “Fierce Pussy”.
Leonard often photographs display windows and small shops in suburbs and the outskirts of cities. She shows forms of consumption on the edge of our consciousness, away from the aesthetics of sanitized advertising strategies, the places globalization has passed by. Analogue (1998 – 2007) collects hundreds such pictures in a huge composition that can be grouped into visual chapters. Leonard’s pictures include the negative frame and traces of the developing process such as dust and scratches.

WB (n°7), 2005; © Sophie Ristelhueber/adagp

Sophie Ristelhueber

(born in 1949 in France) is nominated for her retrospective, Sophie Ristelhueber at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (20 January – 22 March 2009).
After studying at the Sorbonne, she first worked as a journalist, before she turned to photography in 1980. A documentary view of areas of crisis and war is characteristic for her oeuvre. Ristelhueber’s photographs are eloquent evidence of the visible traces of the impact of violence on landscape and humans. In the 1980s, Ristelhueber started photographing the bombed city of Beirut and Iraq in the 1990s and 2000. She also began to document people’s wounds and scars so that they sometimes seem to merge with the pictures of the destroyed landscapes.
This year, pictures from 25 years of her work were shown at the Jeu du Paume – a truly depressing but also impressive collection revealing man’s monumental lust for destruction.

Deconstruction of the Maze prison, Northern Ireland 2009; © Donovan Wylie/ Magnum Photos

Donovan Wylie

(born in 1971 in the UK) is nominated for his exhibition MAZE 2007/8 at Belfast Exposed (27 March – 1 May 2009).
Wylie started his career as a photographer at the age of 16. In 1992 he was invited to become a nominee of Magnum Photos and in 1998 he became a full member – the youngest in the history of the agency. Donovan Wylie’s works explore the religious identity, history, the concept of territory in Northern Ireland and the architecture of conflict.
Between 2002 and 2003, Wylie was the only photographer granted official and unlimited access to the Maze prison. The site became a synonym for the Northern Ireland Conflict due to its history of political segregation, riots, hunger strikes, mass escapes and deaths among both inmates and staff. He systematically recorded its demise with his camera. The photographs are divided into four sections, each depicting a “layer” of the prison: the internal walls, the various modes of fencing, the infamous H-blocks and, finally, the perimeter walls, which give a glimpse of the outside world.