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DB Photography Prize @ wmin – London

18/04/2011 - 01/05/2011


It seems to happen a lot lately … we get and we give too short notice for worth visiting exhibitions. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has another couple of weeks left @ the University of Westminister (just in front of Madame Tussauds), so you better hurry up!

In it’s 15th edition the Prize keeps vindicating photography as a flexible-enough discipline to be used by contemporary artists, not only photojournalism and mixed-compositions are all that there is, and despite video and new interactive media occupying more & more space in the art scene, photography keeps enjoying a solid patronage.

Elad Lassry, Lipstick, 2009

And who are the 4 short-listed artists this year?

Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg and Elad Lassry… and only one will be winning the £30K prize… even if they don’t really need it, it’s more about the prestige than the pennies.

As most of these prizes do, the objective is to showcase new (still living) talent and this year the 4 lucky observers come from Germany, the States & Switzerland. Our clear favorite…. Mr Demand with the overwhelming “Heldenorgel”…

Thomas Demand, Heldenorgel, 2009

Thomas likes to photograph fake realities. Near-to-perfect worlds where you can perceive a big level of artifice but can’t really understand where it comes from. Meticulously constructed three-dimensional paper models of the German ideal “what could have existed”, but never did. Yes, Demand explores the Deutsche social and political public life through cardboard scenes than he then photographs… and there’s nothing ordinary about that. 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.


Jim Goldberg also came as a refreshing surprise besides using a rather trite subject … documenting the limits of the 3rd & 4th worlds: immigration, human traffic, refugees… those who keep traveling, dreaming about the “European paradise”… part of his Open See series.

Update: he’s just been announced as the winner of this year’s Prize (which marks the 15th year of the Prize and the 40th anniversary of The Photographers’ Gallery). Congrats Mr Goldberg.

Worth mentioning the other two too! The works of Elad Lassry which may easily fall into the category of contemporary photography with all those artificial but intelligent compositions or the Vice-pop commercial covers (and other works) by Mr Ethridge.

Recommended exhibition? Mmmmmmmm not for those who don’t like photography. For the rest of the mortal beings… please go… it’s free!

More info and a few video insights of this year’s nominees on the photonet website. Enjoy!


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University of Westminister
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