Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2018: shortlist announced

Shortlisted work for next year’s award includes an investigation of the human and environmental destruction caused by Monsanto and a response to police brutality in America

Established in 1996 by The Photographers’ Gallery and presented in partnership with Deutsche Börse Group since 2005, this award scheme celebrates a single photographer’s outstanding contribution to the field. The winner may be from any part of the world, but the body of work must have been exhibited or published in Europe during the twelve months preceding September 2017.

Here are the four shortlisted photographers and their work:

Mathieu Asselin – Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation

© Mattieu Asselin, Vietnam 2015

French Photographer Matthieu Asselin spent five years investigating biotech company Monsanto and the devastation – human, environmental and economic – caused by its controversial practices.

© Mattieu Asselin, Indiana, 2013

The body of work, published in a book, uncovers Monsanto’s relationship with the US government and the FDA, addresses issues of global food safety and pays homage to the institutions and individuals who have been campaigning against the corporation., @asselin.mathieu

Rafal Milach – Refusal

Shot in post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, Georgia & Poland, Refusal documents the mechanisms of government propaganda and how they manifest in urban environments through architecture, objects and so on. The series explores concepts of government control and manipulation of populations.

Rafal Milach, Khyrdalan, Azerbaijan, 2016: Geometric figures and models triggering optical illusions, partly created by pupils of the chess school located in the Khyrdalan Heydar Aliyev Centre. These objects were intended to help develop young Azerbaijanis’ spatial imagination and abstract thinking skills.

The exhibition which was on view in Poland, in May and June this year, featured photographs of buildings like observation centres and government centres, and objects found in these sites, which were often used for thought control or social experiments.

Rafal Milach, Anaklia, Georgia, 2013 An unfinished viewing tower, 2013

Batia Suter – Parallel Encyclopedia #2

Suter’s Parallel Encyclopedia is a collection of found images. Her skill lies in placing these in usual contexts and juxtaposing imagery in a way that that creates intersting narratives and questions our perceptions of the world. She plays with the idea of how meaning of objects is affected by context and placement.

The first version of Parallel Encyclopedia was published in 2007, and the second in 2016, published by Idea Books.

Luke Willis Thompson – autoportrait

Thompson’s autoportrait, on view earlier this year in London, is a silent portrait of Diamond Reynolds. In July 2016, Reynold’s partner was shot and killed by a policeman during a traffic stop in Minnesota. The entire chilling incident was broadcast on Facebook live. New Zealand-born, London-based artist Luke Willis Thompson was so moved by the story that he created a “sister image” in response.

Luke Willis Thompson, autoportrait 2017

The project was commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and produced in partnership with Create. Read CR’s review of the exhibition here.

Luke Willis Thompson, autoportrait 2017

These four bodies of work will be on display at the Photographers Gallery in London from February 23 to June 3 2018. One of these photographers will be awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 in a ceremony on May 17 2018. 


Milton Keynes