Deutsche Börse 2015 winner

31 May 2015

Competitions, Industry news

Mikhael Subotzky (b.1981, South Africa) and Patrick Waterhouse (b.1981, UK) have been awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015. The £30,000 award was presented by artist and previous Prize winner Oliver Chanarin on behalf of the artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.

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 2013 and 30 September 2014.

Subotzky and Waterhouse won for their publication Ponte City (Steidl, 2014). The book depicts a 54-floor apartment block in Johannesburg, built in 1976 for a white elite under apartheid rule. During the political transition in the 1980s and 90s, it became a refuge for black newcomers to the city and immigrants from all over Africa. Over the years decline and neglect led to it being positioned as the prime symbol of urban decay in the city and the supposed epicentre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing.

Subotzky and Waterhouse began their project in 2007 after a failed regeneration project. Working with remaining residents and using photographs, architectural plans, archival and historical material, they have created an intimate and evocative social portrait of the building’s community of residents and their culture. An accompanying sequence of seventeen booklets containing essays and personal stories complete the visual and spatial narrative of this Johannesburg landmark.

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse were chosen by jury members: 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.

The other shortlisted artists for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015, each awarded £3,000, are: Nikolai Bakharev (b. 1946, Russia) for his exhibition at the 55th Biennale of Art in Venice (1 June - 24 November 2013); Zanele Muholi (b. 1972, South Africa) for her publication Faces and Phases 2006 - 2014 (co- published by Steidl and The Walther Collection, 2014); and Viviane Sassen (b. 1972, Netherlands) for her exhibition Umbra at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (8 March – 1 June 2014).

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015 is organised by The Photographers’ Gallery and is on display until 7 June 2015. It will be followed by a presentation at the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art) in Frankfurt during the RAY 2015 Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt / RheinMain (20 June – 20 September 2015).

Brett Rogers, non-voting Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers’ Gallery said, on behalf of the jury said: The jury praised Subotzky and Waterhouse for introducing new ways of photographic storytelling and presentation in book form. They have drawn together a rich and diverse array of archival and documentary approaches, to reveal, layer by layer, the complex stories concealed within one of Johannesburg’s most iconic buildings, Ponte City. This long-term, creatively ambitious project, serves as a compelling metaphor for South African society as it transitioned from Apartheid to post-Apartheid era and importantly explores the wider issues relating to the global migration of peoples today.

Andreas Preuss, Deputy CEO of Deutsche Börse AG said: The cooperation between The Photographers’ Gallery and Deutsche Börse since 2005 has proven very successful – the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is a prestigious award, well- established and widely recognised. I’m happy to announce that Deutsche Börse will continue to support this award also for the next three years.

An exhibition of the short-listed photographers continues at The Photographers' Gallery, London, until 7 June 2015.

Image: Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse, Untitled #3, Ponte City Johannesburg, from the series Ponte City, 2008. © Mikhael Subotzky / Patrick Waterhouse / Courtesy Goodman Gallery