Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011

The winner of the annual Deutsche Börse Photography Prize was announced on Tuesday 26 April 2011: Jim Goldberg. Other photographers, who were shortlisted for this year’s prize, were: Roe Ethridge, Thomas Demand and Elad Lassry. The price was presented by The Photographers’ Gallery, London. The Prize was shown at Ambika P3 at the University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 from Saturday 5 April until Sunday 1 May 2011. Later in 2011 the exhibition was shown at the C/O Berlin and at the Deutsche Börse headquarter The Cube.

The Jury

This year’s Jury was: Alex Farquharson (Director, Nottingham Contemporary); Marloes Krijnen (Founding Director, Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam); Joel Sternfeld (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

Haltestelle, 2009 © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / DACS, London

Thomas Demand

(b. 1964, Germany) has been nominated for his exhibition Nationalgalerie at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany (18 September 2009 – 17 January 2010), travelling to Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (29 May – 22 August 2010). In this exhibition, Demand’s concise yet strangely unsettling images explore German social and political public life. Often using photographs drawn from the media, Demand turns these scenes into life-size and meticulously constructed three-dimensional paper models that he then photographs. Ranging from the interior of the Bonn parliament of the late 1960s to the artist’s childhood room, the spaces subtly reveal the mechanisms of their making and challenge the viewer’s perception of reality by examining memory and photographic truth.

Thanksgiving 1984, 2009 © Roe Ethridge/ Courtesy of Greengrassi London/ Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York/ Mai 36 Gallerie, Zurich

Roe Ethridge

(b. 1969, USA) has been nominated for his solo exhibition at Les Rencontres d’Arles 2010, France (3 July – 19 September 2010). Blurring the boundaries of the commercial with the editorial, and the mundane with the highbrow, Ethridge’s conceptual approach to photography is a playful attack on the traditions and conventions of the medium itself. Often borrowing ‘outtakes’ from his own commercial work, Ethridge readily counterpoises a catwalk shot with a still-life of a pumpkin or a pastoral scene of cows grazing. His distinct but elusive and poetic groupings of portraits, landscapes and still lifes create new associations and embrace the arbitrariness of the image and image making.

GREECE. Lavrio. 2005. Two detained Afghani refugees point to the refrigerator on which they wrote (approximate translation) 'The Sea of Sadness has no shore'. (Their English translation is 'in the open see (sic) dont have border') Lavrio Detention Center. © Jim Goldberg / Magnum Photos

Jim Goldberg

(b. 1953, USA) has been nominated for his exhibition Open See at The Photographers’ Gallery, London (16 October 2009 – 31 January 2010). Initiated through a Magnum commission, Open See documents the experiences of refugee, immigrant and trafficked populations who travel from war torn, socially and economically devastated countries to make new lives in Europe. Fusing Polaroids, video, written text, ephemera and large and medium format photographs (taken in places as varied as Iraq, Bangladesh, China, The Balkans and Congo), Goldberg uses his varied and experimental approach to photographic storytelling to reflect on issues of migration and the conditions for desiring escape.

Elad Lassry, Man 071, 2007 © Elad Lassry/ Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Elad Lassry

(b. 1977, Israel) has been nominated for his exhibition Elad Lassry at Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (13 February – 25 April 2010). In his seductive yet detached photographic and filmic works, Lassry renders the over-familiar and clichéd, whether it be a kitten, an attractive model, lipsticks, a carton of eggs, peculiar. Drawing on analogue source material as inspiration, such as advertising and stock imagery, Lassry’s over-saturated photographs are often collages of pre-existing images or newly staged studio photographs alluding to the visual language of product photography. Constantly shifting between ‘original’ and found materials, Lassry instigates a dialogue between photography and the moving image to explore ideas of authorship, originality and appropriation.