Adam Broomberg (b.1970, South Africa) & Oliver Chanarin (b.1971, UK) have been awarded theDeutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 at a special ceremony in The Photographers’ Gallery this evening, Monday 10 June 2013. The £30,000 award was presented by film director Mike Figgis. They are the first artist duo to ever win the Prize.
The Prize is awarded to a photographer of any nationality for their significant contribution to the medium of photography either through an exhibition or publication, in Europe between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012. Broomberg & Chanarin won for their publication War Primer 2 (2012, MACK). The limited edition book physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s publication War Primer (1955). In the original, Brecht matched WWII newspaper clippings with short poems that sought to demystify press images, which he referred to as hieroglyphics. In War Primer 2 Broomberg & Chanarin choose to focus on the ‘War on Terror’; sifting through the internet for low resolution screen-grabs and mobile phone images, the artists then combined them to resonate with Brecht’s poems. Through this layering of photographic history, Broomberg & Chanarin offer a critique of photographs of contemporary conflict and their dissemination—a theme that has been at the centre of their practice for fifteen years.
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin were chosen by jury members: Joan Fontcuberta, artist; Andrea Holzherr, Exhibition Manager, Magnum; Karol Hordziej, Artistic Director, Krakow Photomonth; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany.
The other shortlisted artists for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013, each awarded £3,000, are: Mishka Henner (b. 1976, UK) for his exhibition No Man’s Land at Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (20 September – 28 October 2012); Chris Killip (b. 1946, UK) for his exhibition What Happened – Great Britain 1970 – 1990 at Le Bal, Paris (11 May – 19 August 2012); and Cristina De Middel (b. 1975, Spain) for her publication The Afronauts (2011, self-published).
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 is organised by The Photographers’ Gallery and is on display until 30 June 2013. It will be followed by a presentation at the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Frankfurt/Eschborn from 12 September – 31 October 2013.
Brett Rogers, non-voting Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery said, on behalf of the jury: The jury awarded the Prize to Broomberg & Chanarin for their bold and powerful reimagining of Brecht’s War Primer. They applauded the way in which the project pushed the boundaries of the medium, exploring the complex relationship between image and text while drawing on elements from both the past history of photography and the present image economy.
Julia Taeschner, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Deutsche Börse said: We are very pleased with the decision of the jury and would like to congratulate the artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin. Through their work the winners of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 reflect one of the most controversially discussed topics in today’s society. We were once again very impressed by the diversity of the work of all finalists.