Third Prix Pictet Awards, Photography Prize 2011, Mitch Epstein Photo, News, Design, Image

Third Prix Pictet : Photography Prize – Winner

2011 Awards Competition : Mitch Epstein Information

18 Mar 2011

US Photographer Mitch Epstein Wins 100,000 Dollar Prix Pictet

40,000 Dollar Pictet Commission Goes To Chris Jordan

Prix Pictet Winner

Kofi Annan, Honorary President of the Prix Pictet, announced this evening, Thursday 17 March 2011, Mitch Epstein as the winner of the third Prix Pictet photography prize for environmental sustainability.

Rebecca Breun, head of business development at e-architect, attended this event.

Prix Pictet

The prize is sponsored by the Swiss bank, Pictet & Cie, with a value of 100,000 Swiss Francs (100,000 dollars, £65,000, €80,000).

‘American Power’ by Mitch Epstein:
American Power - Third Prix Pictet Awards
Mitch Epstein photo from BQ

The announcement was made at the opening of an exhibition of the works of the 12 shortlisted photographers at the Paris gallery, Passage de Retz.

Jacques de Saussure, Senior Partner of Pictet, awarded the 40,000 Swiss Francs (40,000 dollars, €30,000) commission to the US photographer Chris Jordan to undertake a field trip to Northern Kenya where Pictet & Cie is currently supporting the work of the environmental charity, the Tusk Trust.

‘American Power’ by Mitch Epstein:
American Power Mitch Epstein - Third Prix Pictet Awards 2011 Mitch Epstein photo - Third Prix Pictet Awards 2011
Mitch Epstein photos from BQ

The two photographers were selected from a shortlist of twelve, namely Christian Als, Edward Burtynsky, Stéphane Couturier, Mitch Epstein, Chris Jordan, Yeondoo Jung,Vera Lutter, Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, Taryn Simon, Thomas Struth, Guy Tillim and Michael Wolf. Both Burtynsky and Jordan have previously been shortlisted for the Prix Pictet.

The Prix Pictet has as its mission a search for photographs that communicate powerful messages of global environmental significance under a specific theme. For this third Prix Pictet the theme is Growth. The winning artist, Mitch Epstein, was nominated for his series, American Power.

In presenting the award to Mitch Epstein, Kofi Annan said, “It is difficult to look at this exhibition without being moved, even angered. And yet, however bleak their message, the creativity and spirit of these artists also gives us hope that we, the human race, have the capacity to find, to agree and to realise the answers to these challenges. I want to congratulate each of the photographers for the power and beauty of their work.”

Sir David King, Chair of the Judges, then read out the Statement of the Jury:

“The Prix Pictet Jury were looking for photography that met three criteria: artistic excellence; powerful story-telling related to the theme of the award; and a coherent series of images with narrative power. The Jury commented on the remarkable quality of the submission of each of the twelve shortlisted artists and on the presentation of their work at the Passage de Retz, Paris.

“After considerable deliberation the Jury were unanimous in their decision to award the prize to Mitch Epstein, whose work most clearly met each of the three criteria. Epstein’s epic, beautifully realised photographs employ a vantage point that is so perfect as to subtly disorientate you, while at the same time delivering a message of great power.

“Edward Burtynsky’s consistently outstanding work deserves special mention. This year his essay on the pervasiveness of oil is a potent reminder of our dependence for “growth” on this finite and compromised resource.”

‘American Power’ by Mitch Epstein:
American Power American Power Mitch Epstein Mitch Epstein photo
Mitch Epstein photos from BQ

In awarding the third Prix Pictet Commission, Jacques de Saussure, Senior Partner of Pictet & Cie, said, “On behalf of the Partners of Pictet, I am delighted that Chris Jordan will be undertaking the Pictet Commission in 2011. His haunting images from the Midway atoll have exactly the qualities we are seeking for the Commission.”

With each Prix Pictet award, Pictet supports the work of a charity whose work reflects the theme of the prize. In 2011 Pictet is supporting the Nakuprat Conservancy, a Kenyan community conservancy project of the UK-based charity, the Tusk Trust. Tusk is responsible for the development of over forty different programmes of conservation and sustainable community development in 17 African countries.

Chris Jordan will visit Kenya with logistical support from Tusk. His mission is to draw attention to the sustainability issues that face the local communities in the Nakuprat Conservancy region, with particular reference to the theme of ‘Growth’. The photographs produced for the Commission will be premiered at an exhibition in London later in 2011.

Charlie Mayhew, CEO of Tusk, said, “The Nakuprat Conservancy is an area riven by tension and conflict between communities competing for livestock, pasture and water – exemplifying the dilemmas of growth posed by the Prix Pictet theme. We are delighted that Pictet & Cie have decided to support the work of Tusk.”

Prix Pictet Exhibition and Tour
A selection of works from the portfolios of each shortlisted artist are being shown in Paris at the Passage de Retz from 18 March to 16 April 2011. The Prix Pictet will continue showing in international venues throughout 2011, including confirmed venues in Thessaloniki (Museum of Photography); Zurich (Galerie Christophe Guye, 26 May – 14 June), Milan (Galerie Carla Sozzani, 8 June – 31 July), London (Diemar/Noble, October), Dubai (Empty Quarter, October) and Madrid (Jardin Botanico, (October 2011 – January 2012). Further proposals from major international galleries are currently under consideration.

Prix Pictet Book
The prize is complemented by Growth, the book of the third prize. Growth is published by teNeues and includes the work of the 12 shortlisted artists and others nominated for the third Prix Pictet.

Prix Pictet at the Arles Photography Festival
Later this year the Prix Pictet will collaborate with Les Rencontres d’Arles in a major presentation in the Théâtre Antique, Arles, during the opening week of the festival on Thursday 7 July.

12 Nov 2010

Third Prix Pictet Awards

The shortlist for the Third Prix Pictet, the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability, is announced. The theme for this year’s edition is Growth.

The shortlisted artists are
Vera Lutter
(Germany) Michael Wolf (Germany) Christian Als (Denmark) Edward Burtynsky (Canada) Stéphane Couturier (France) Mitch Epstein (US) Chris Jordan (US) Yeondoo Jung (Korea) Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) Taryn Simon (US) Thomas Struth (Germany) Guy Tillim (South Africa)

Michael Wolf (Germany, 1954)
Nominated for Architecture of Density, 2005-2009
The work of the German photographer, Michael Wolf, uncovers and documents the subject of vernacular culture. In Architecture of Density, he investigates the enormous city blocks of Hong Kong, revealing a mesmerizing abstraction in the facades of the buildings. On close inspection of each photograph, the anonymous public face of the city is full of rewarding detail, with large swatches of colour give way to smaller pieces of people’s lives. Wolf has won first prize in the World Press Photo Award Competition on two occasions (2005 & 2010).

Vera Lutter (Germany, 1960)
Nominated for her complete body of work
Vera Lutter is a German artist well-known for her large-scale pinhole photography. She turns whole rooms into enormous cameras and exposes images of the outside world onto wall-size sheets of photographic paper. Her work explores the beauty found within the destructive power inherent in many industrial advances, photographing shipyards, airports, abandoned factories, and other industrial sites that pertain to transportation and fabrication. Lutter’s photographs feature in many permanent collections, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of Art.

The winner will be announced by HE Kofi Annan at the award ceremony in Paris on Thursday 17 March 2011.

A preview of the shortlisted photographers’ works is on show in an exhibition at Galerie Filles du Calvaire, Paris, until 29 November 2010. The shortlist was chosen by an independent jury from submissions by over 450 photographers from five continents, put forward by the Prix Pictet worldwide network of nominators.

The eight-member jury consists of a panel of international experts chaired by Professor Sir David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. Members include: Shahidul Alam, photographer, writer, curator and activist; Peter Aspden, the Financial Times arts writer; Michael Fried, art historian and critic; Loa Haagen Pictet, curator of Pictet & Cie’s art collection; Nadav Kander, the 2009 winner of the Prix Pictet; Christine Loh, chief executive of Civic Exchange, Hong Kong, and a leading environmental campaigner; and Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

The jury looked for photographic series of the highest artistic merit that also presented a convincing narrative about the critical issues of sustainability and in particular, the theme of Growth. Growth, which lifts countless millions out of poverty, also has a huge and potentially unsustainable environmental cost. It presents one of the great conundrums facing humanity in the early decades of the twenty-first century.

Commenting on the shortlist, Sir David King, chairman of the jury, said, ‘The jury was greatly impressed by the quality and variety of creative responses to the theme of Growth; it was a real challenge to arrive at the final names. Any one of these twelve artists would be a worthy winner.’

Photographer Shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Third Edition – Growth

10. Michael Wolf
aod #45, 2006, Hong Kong from the series Architecture of Density, 2005-2009

Hong Kong towers
photo from BQ

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas with an overall density of nearly 6,700 people per square kilometre. The majority of Hong Kong’s citizens live in flats in high-rise buildings whose units can house as many as 10,000 people. Architecture of Density investigates these enormous city blocks and finds a mesmerising abstraction in the buildings’ facades. On close inspection of each photograph, the anonymous public face of the city is full of rewarding detail, with large swatches of colour give way to smaller pieces of people’s lives.

Photographer Shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Third Edition – Growth

12. Vera Lutter
Zeppelin, Friedrichshafen, I: August 10–13, 1999
1999, Friedrichshafen, Germany

Zeppelin Friedrichshafen
photo from BQ

Vera Lutter’s work explores the beauty found within the destructive power inherent in many industrial advances, photographing shipyards, airports, abandoned factories, and other industrial sites that pertain to transportation and fabrication including the hangar in which a Zeppelin was constructed. The intention was to focus on the monumental, the sublime and the overbearing appearance and threatening function of these objects.Her photographic process involves capturing an immediate imprint of her experience by turning whole rooms into large pinhole cameras and exposing images directly on to wall-size sheets of photographic paper.

Third Prix Pictet Awards information from BQ

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