A series of photographic short stories, a multimedia installation, an ode to Central Park and a photographic inventory of what lies hidden within the borders of the US form the select foursome shortlisted for this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Paul Graham, nominated for the prestigious annual prize for his publication A Shimmer of Possibility, infuses a cinematic lyricism into the most mundane of everyday human activities, such as lighting a cigarette or balancing a Styrofoam cup, in what he calls ‘filmic haikus’.
Meanwhile, in Material for a Film, Emily Jacir combines the role of archivist, activist and poet. The installation documents the assassination of the Palestinian intellectual Wael Zuwaiter by Israeli agents in 1972 and is at once personal and deeply political.
Tod Papageorge is included on the shortlist for his ‘urban version of the Garden of Eden’, Passing Through Eden/ Photographs of Central Park, a body of work that combines street photography with exact photographic description, from the 1960s to the early 1990s.
Finally, Taryn Simon’s work shows her view of America and the ambiguity she feels about it. At the same time it is highly aestheticised, with amazingly beautiful, yet chilling images.
‘We have four quite different artists with different outlooks on the world,’ says Stefanie Braun, curator of The Photographers’ Gallery. ‘It’s interesting to have work from several decades ago from Papageorge next to a young, contemporary photographer such as Simon. With different juries each year, the selection is always a genuine surprise.’ We await this year’s verdict on 25 March. •
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize shortlist will be on show at The Photographers’ Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1, from 20 February to 12 April. The winner will be announced on 25 March