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Bieke Depoorter Shortlisted for World Leading Photography Prize

The Magnum photographer is recognized for her exhibition at C/O Berlin, A Chance Encounter.

Michael at Home, Portland, Oregon, USA, May 2015 © Bieke Depoorter/Magnum Photos

Bieke Depoorter has been named among the four-strong shortlist for next year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, one of the world’s leading awards devoted to contemporary photography, worth £30,000 to the winner.

The 36-year-old Belgian is recognized for her exhibition, A Chance Encounter, at C/O Berlin, which closed last month. It was shown alongside a retrospective of the work of fellow Magnum member Susan Meiselas, who won the prize in 2019.

Samuel Fosso, Arthur Jafa and Frida Orupabo are also nominated for the annual award, organized by The Photographers’ Gallery since 1996, set up 26 years ago to reward the “artists and their projects considered to have made the most significant contribution to photography over the previous 12 months.”

Previous winners of the award include Andreas Gursky (1997), Rineke Dijkstra (1998), Boris Mikhailov (2001), and Magnum photographers Jim Goldberg (2011), Mikhael Subotzky (working with Patrick Waterhouse in 2015) and Susan Meiselas (2019).

From Agata, a collaboration with Agata Kay, Paris, November 2, 2017 © Bieke Depoorter / Magnum Photos.

“In an exhibition of installations, projections, film and photography, Bieke Depoorter blurs the traditional relationship between photographer and subject,” says The Photographers’ Gallery statement, explaining why Depoorter’s work was selected for the 2023 Prize. “The exhibition presents two unfolding, ongoing, bodies of work, Agata and Michael. Here, a chance encounter develops into an enduring personal relationship and, thereafter, into an interrogation of the medium.”

Installation of A Chance Encounter at C/O Berlin, 2022 © David von Becker, C/O Berlin

Fosso is shortlisted for his retrospective shown at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, last winter. Jafa is recognized for Live Evil, showing at Luma, Arles, until November 13. And Orupabo is shortlisted for her exhibition, I have seen a million pictures of my face and still I have no idea, which was shown at Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland last spring.

3_Autoportrait_(c)Samuel Fosso Autoportrait, from the Series 70s Lifestyle, 1976 © Samuel Fosso, courtesy JM Patras, Paris.
The Chief who Sold Africa to the Colonists, 1997 © Samuel Fosso, courtesy JM Patras, Paris.
Installation image of Arthur Jafa: Live Evil, LUMA, Arles, France © Arthur Jafa, courtesy LUMA Arles, and Gladstone Gallery. Photography by Andrea Rossetti
Batwoman, 2021 © Frida Orupabo, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin, Stockholm, Mexico City.
A lil help, 2021 © Frida Orupabo, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin, Stockholm, Mexico City.

This year’s Jury are: Thyago Nogueria, Head of Contemporary Photography at Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo, Brazil; Natalie Herschdorfer, Director of Photo Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland; Mahtab Hussain, artist; Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director of Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt/Main. Brett Rogers, the Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, who is also on the jury as voting chair, commented.

“Our shortlist exemplifies photography’s resounding power and resonance right now. Each artist addresses subjects which drive forward debate about the nature of the medium and the role it plays in history and society.

“Bieke Depoorter explores the ethical implications of the relationship between the photographer and their subject; Samuel Fosso exploits the versatility of the medium to construct disparate personal identities; Frida Orupabo throws fresh light on the Black female body through her extraordinary multi-layered collages and Arthur Jafa uncompromisingly articulates Black experience, drawing upon his rich archive of historical images, film and music.”

Bieke Depoorter Agata. Beirut, Lebanon. August 2, 2018 © Bieke Depoorter/Magnum Photos. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

An exhibition of the shortlisted projects will go on show at The Photographers’ Gallery from March 4 until June 11 next year. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony at the gallery on May 11. The other finalists will each receive £5000.

Agata was made into an acclaimed book. Visit the Magnum shop to order.

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