Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2017

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2017 is currently being exhibited at the Photographers Gallery. The first photographers work which I came across was Dana Lixembergs project Imperial Courts which was created over twenty-two years. Over this period of time the work turned into a collaborative portrait series of the community in Watts as it changed.

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The images have been presented through both large prints and smaller ones. All of the prints are within thin black frames, giving all the focus to the images. As well as the photographs on the wall there was also a book with more of the images from the project. As you can see in all the images shown above there are headphones. Through the headphones you can hear what seems to be conversations between people in the community, this was really affective as it really immerses you into the work and makes you look at it in a whole different perspective.

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Through the black curtain past Dana Lixenberg’s project is Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs work, EURASIA. Their work has been presented using slide projectors which shows both moving and still images, created using a mixture of different analogue media such as 16mm films, large-format plate cameras. EURASIA displays the iconography of the road trip, the experiences shown have been constructed through both memory and their imagination.

Through the projectors you do see a story, all the different people they encountered on their trip as well as the landscapes. You can’t tell when looking at them which are fiction and non-fiction. It was quite a small space however so it was hard to see them all at the same time, but perhaps they’re meant to be looked at separately as you walk around the room.

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Upstairs was Sophie Calle’s and Awoiska van der Molen’s work. The first you come to as you enter the room is Calle’s, who was nominated for her publication My All (Actes Sud, 2016). Shown is one of her most recent projects is the series My mother, my cat, my father, in that order (2017) this work deals with the death of her mother, father and cat. It presents relationships between them and the traces they left behind. The images are of objects she identifies with them which are accompanied with short texts, these make the work more personal and explore human emotion and memory.

As you can see from the images shown above, most of the work has been presented in white frames, with the largest resting on the wall rather than being hung. Sometimes the images are more dominant printed large, and other the text has been printed large, and some are the same size.
One particular piece which stood out is the last image shown of a message from her father, who is not. I thought this was interesting due to the juxtaposition between a modern technology and the way it has been placed in a classic, almost museum-like case, with an embossed text. There are only two pieces shown in this way, which made them stand out.

Calle’s was my favourite work shown in the awards, the combination of image and text works really well to tell a personal narrative. Combining narrative and imagery is something that I would like to explore in the future so I found it very inspiring.

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Lastly was Awoiska van der Molen’s work is untitled, but has created black and white abstracted images of nature. Molen travelled to different unfamiliar landscapes in solitary for weeks, this allows her to really get a sense of the area to create images which represent the impression it has on her and the space around it.

All the prints have been printed by hand in the darkroom, continuing the intimacy between her and the landscapes surrounding her. All the images have been displayed in thin black frames, providing that nothing it taking away attention from the photographs which are presented both large and small.

Molen’s images look very painterly, in some you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. These pieces were shown in a very effective way, which works well with the tone of the images.

Overall there was a wide range of work shown in the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2017, and was very inspiring to visit when thinking about how i’m going to present my work for my Wall module.


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