Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008

The shortlist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has been announced. Last years finalists where an interesting and fairly disparate group of photographers and the winner seemed to confound many. This year has the promise of being not too different.

There's John Davies from the UK - a photographer whose work I've always admired and is very much a "straight" sort of documentary photographer (or at least one who "works in the documentary style"). I first came across him in the early 1980's when he was photographing the post-coal/post-industrial North East of England at the same time I was. I also keep meaning to get his big retrospective book which came out recently.

(John Davies - both above)

Then Jacob Holdt from Denmark who is probably best known for his book Jacob Holdt, United States 1970 – 1975 which came out of five years hitchhiking across the US and documenting the lives of those he lived with from rich to poor - an outsider's take on Nixon's America

(Jacob Holdt)

Fazal Sheikh from the US - "an artist-activist who uses photography to create a sustained portrait of different communities around the world, addressing their beliefs and traditions, as well as their political and economic problems. By establishing a context of respect and understanding, his photographs demand we learn more about the people in them and about the circumstances in which they live"

(Fazal Sheikh)

And finally Esko Mannikko from Finland (btw I'm not quite sure what hold the Scandinavians have over the selection committee but there always seem to be one or two nominated...) a photographer who has been described as "A portraitist of isolation, Mannikko documents with great humour, warmth and integrity the lives of those who inhabit the periphery.".

(Esko Mannikko)'

You can see work from all four at The Photographers Gallery in London, and the winner will be announced on the 5th of March.

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