The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is annually awarded to a contemporary photographer of any nationality wo has made an outstading contribution to photography in Europe in the past year – either through an exhibition or publication. This year’s finalists Finalisten Pieter Hugo (Southafrica), Rinko Kawauchi (Japan), John Stezaker (United Kingdom) und Christopher Williams (USA), have explored the complexity of the photographic medium, ranging from documentary photography and the everyday to the recontextualisation of found images and the conceptual. On 3 September 2012, the prize worth £30,000 was awarded to John Stezaker for his exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery in London in spring 2011.
With disturbing yet aesthetic images, between portrait and social study, Pieter Hugo shows a rubbish dump full of electronic scrap in Ghana, an animated vision of the end of time amidst ash and poison clouds. In her photographic diary she has kept for fifteen years, Rinko Kawauchi explores the small gestures, coincidental details and fractal structures of everyday life in a gentle yet irritating way. John Stezaker draws on surrealist techniques and uses found visual material to create collages that question our customary ways of viewing. Christopher Williams examines the meaning of the image itself and the aesthetic conventions of image reception in a media-dominated society.