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
French Photographer Matthieu Asselin spent five years investigating biotech company Monsanto and the devastation – human, environmental and economic – caused by its controversial practices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The project was commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and produced in partnership with Create. Read CR’s review of the exhibition here.
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.