Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022: meet the nominees
As the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition opens in London, we take a closer look at the 2022 nominees: Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe, Deana Lawson and Gilles Peress
The four nominees for the 2022 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize offer an astonishing depth of research and engagement in projects spanning personal and political themes. Last year, Chinese artist Cao Fei (featured in the November 2021 issue of Wallpaper) received the award for her first large-scale solo exhibition in the UK, ‘Blueprints’ (2020), at the Serpentine Gallery . The 2022 exhibition will be on view at the Photographers’ Gallery in London until June 12, 2022, with the winner announced on May 12.
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022: the nominees
Shortlisted for the exhibition ‘FloodZone’
Anastasia Samoilova, Barber, Miami2018, from the FloodZone series © Anastasia Samoilova
In “FloodZone,” Anastasia Samoylova reflects on the confusing yet seductive images that promote tourism and real estate development, against the backdrop of the climate disasters facing America’s coastal cities. Oscillating between paradise and catastrophe, ‘FloodZone’ maintains an interesting dialogue with the other works of the Russian-born artist based in Florida. Especially his series Sublime Landscape, for which she assembled prints of natural landscapes and landscapes subject to human intervention, questioning notions of the sublime and popular algorithmic tastes. This analysis of aesthetics and networks in relation to contemporary culture is an integral part of Samoylova’s metaphorical practice. ‘FloodZone’ was first exhibited at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow (June 8 – July 28, 2021).
Shortlisted for publication Photographs from the 1980s to today
Jo Ractliffe, Roadside stand on the way to Viana2007 series Terreno Occupado © Jo Ractliffe
After 40 years of photographing post-apartheid and civil war life and landscape, South African Jo Ratcliffe’s intricate recordings come together in Photographs from the 1980s to today, a comprehensive monograph, published by Steidl/The Walther Collection in 2021. Through Ractliffe’s lens, the violence is not documented head-on, but rather its tangled consequences are viewed from wide angles, yielding a comprehensive record . With a work that is both austere and poetic, Ractliffe tells The Photographers’ Gallery: “It is difficult to articulate precisely what photography means to me. The main thing, I think, is its trace of the real, associated with the fact that things are not simply as they appear.
Shortlisted for the ‘Centropy’ exhibition
Deana Lawson, An ode to Yemaya2019 © Deana Lawson
Creating what the American artist describes as her “ever-expanding mythological family”, Deana Lawson’s work reframes the black experience in “Centrophy” (exhibited at Kunsthalle Basel from June 9 to October 11, 2020). The tableau-like images are usually of strangers, staged in an enigmatic domestic environment with thoughtful reference to tropes from art history and documentary photography. Symbolism relating to the black diaspora is woven throughout these intimate and reverential scenes, in which Lawson’s subjects radiate. The inclusion of holograms and striking natural phenomena seems fitting in the work of an artist renowned for understanding power.
Shortlisted for publication Whatever you say, don’t say anything
In the lead: Gilles Peress, Whatever you say, don’t say anything: of the chapter, days of struggle. Above: Whatever you say, don’t say anything: of the chapter, The last night. © Gilles Peress
Whatever you say, don’t say anything is a test of photography’s ability to interpret conflict. Magnum photographer Gilles Peress began this work of “documentary fiction” in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Now, decades later, it has come together in a monumental 2,000-page publication illustrating the protest, the resistance, mourning and distraction (originally published by Steidl in 2021). The French photographer is also recognized for his reports in Iran, Rwanda and the Balkans. §