Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010
The Photographers’ Gallery, London. 12th February – 17th April 2010
Maybe I’m going blind. Perhaps, I just can’t see the diversity of approach among the work on show from the international photographers included on the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 shortlist. Do photographers the world over, really choose to confine their efforts to recording, to the exclusion of almost anything else, doom, gloom and shabyness, or that the judges selections conform to a similar brief.
Taken by themselves, Magnum photographer, Donavon Wylie’s beautifully-executed pictures of the deconstruction of the infamous Maze Prison in Northern Ireland are undoubtably a powerful and passionate response to his subject but at the same time, set the mood of despondency, running throughout this exhibition. Sophie Ristelhueber and Zoe Leonard do little to lift the gloom. Even the notable exception, Anna Fox, whose whimsical and kitschy ‘My Mother’s Cupboards and My Father’s Words’, in which she juxtaposes tiny images of the assortment of ordinary objects she discovered while sifting through said cupboards, against dry comments in tiny script from her father, also includes her series ‘Gifts from the Cats’: images of dead birds and mice.
Maybe, some of those who posted comments about the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 on The Photographers’ Gallery blog have problems with their eyes, too:
Doctor Andrew Stevens, February 18th, 2010: Looking at the submissions and at the a lot of current students’ work I sometimes feel I’m in a totally different profession – I travel all over the globe shooting advertising and corporate photography on high res digital backs and haven’t seen anything that relates to everyday photography and actually earning a living as a practitioner – or perhaps we are in a different profession.
Marjorium, February 23rd, 2010: The photographs I saw today don’t look anything like the stuff me and my friends take… Except for Anna Fox photographs, it all feels really serious and dry. It’s a complete turn off, pretty boring and doesn’t make me feel hopeful about my future as a photographer…Is this what I have to do to show my work in a gallery?!!!
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