Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse win the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015

The publication Ponte City by Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for 2015.

Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse win the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015

Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse. Looking Up the Core, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008

The publication Ponte City by Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for 2015.

Published by Steidl in 2014, the publication is presented as a photographic book with booklets of commissioned essays and historical background to the 54-floor apartment block in Johannesburg. Ponte City was built in 1975 for white “sophisticates” but after the transition from apartheid it became a refuge for newcomers and immigrants before decline and neglect led to it being positioned as the prime symbol of urban decay. Subotzky and Waterhouse began their project in 2007 working with the remaining residents, after a regeneration project failed.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for 2015 description notes that Subotzky and Waterhouse “have created an intimate and deeply evocative social portrait of a culture, building and its community of residents through photographs, architectural plans, and other archival and historical material. An additional sequence of seventeen booklets containing essays and personal stories complete the visual and spatial narrative of this”.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize aims to reward a contemporary photographer of any nationality, who has made the most significant contribution (exhibition or publication) to the medium of photography in Europe in the previous year. The Prize, one of the most prestigious in the world of photography, was originally set up in 1996 by The Photographers’ Gallery in London to promote the best of contemporary photography. Deutsche Börse has sponsored the £30,000 prize since 2005. The Prize showcases new talents and highlights the best of international photography practice.

The members of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015 jury were: Chris Boot, Executive Director, Aperture Foundation; Rineke Dijkstra, artist; Peter Gorschlüter, Deputy Director, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst and Anne Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse. Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, is the non-voting Chair.

Other photographers, who were shortlisted for this year’s prize, were: Nikolai Bakharev, Zanele Muholi and Viviane Sassen.

The prize was handed to Subotzky and Waterhouse by artist and photographer Oliver Chanarin, who works in collaboration with South African Adam Broomberg, at a ceremony at the Photographers’ Gallery in central London. Broomberg and Chanarin are also represented in South Africa by Goodman Gallery and won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2013 for their work War Primer 2.

Works by the shortlisted photographers are being exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery until 7 June 2015 and will subsequently be presented at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum for Modern Art) in Frankfurt from 20 June until 20 September.




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