The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2023 Opens At The Photographers' Gallery

by Christina Donoghue on 8 March 2023

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition will feature at London's Photographers' Gallery, exhibiting the work of nominees Bieke Depoorter, Samuel Fosso, Arthur Jafa and Frida Orupabo.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition will feature at London's Photographers' Gallery, exhibiting the work of nominees Bieke Depoorter, Samuel Fosso, Arthur Jafa and Frida Orupabo.

Frida Orupabo

Renowned as one of the most important international awards for photographers, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize is, least to say, a big deal. Over its 27-year history, the prestigious accolade has been awarded to artists including Lorna Simpson, Richard Mosse, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin and Juergen Teller, all of whom have gone on to bend the boundaries of photography beyond comparable measure. The award stands as a barometer of photographic development, foregrounding outstanding, innovative and thought-provoking work. That said, this year's nominees are Bieke Depoorter, Samuel Fosso, Arthur Jafa and Frida Orupabo, all of whom use the medium as a cultural force in their work today.

Acting as a travelling exhibition that started its journey at London's Photographers' Gallery, the show will remain at the Oxford Circus venue until later this year, ending on 11 June before travelling to the Muzeum Fotografii w Krakowie, Krakow, Poland, where the nominees' work will remain on show until September this year. The winner will be announced on 11 May and will receive a £30,000 cash prize; all other finalists will each get £5,000, with no one going home empty-handed.

'Second suitcase', Bieke Depoorter

Bieke Depoorter

Depoorter treads subjects few are willing to do with a camera, specifically diving into the relationship between a photographer and their subject with intense scrutiny. Already armed with several accolades under her belt since she graduated from her Master's at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009, Depoorter's USP lies in critiquing the one tool she relies heavily upon to produce her work; the camera. In her ongoing project Michael, she investigates the disappearance and life of a man she met on the streets of Portland in 2015. After giving her three suitcases full of scrapbooks, notes and books, everyone lost sight of him, leading her to exhibit A Chance Encounter at C/O Berlin last year. It's this piece of work that has gained her nomination status for the competition.

Samuel Fosso

Samuel Fosso

Fosso's most recent exhibition was a retrospective detailing a career of almost 50 years. Presenting a compilation of famed series against lesser-known works, archive material, and unpublished projects altogether, Fosso's recent self-titled retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris let gallery-goers dive headfirst into the artist's prolific career. Playing the role of key historical figures and social archetypes in front of the camera in his ongoing series of self-portraits, Fosso embodies a powerful way of existing in the world and a vivid demonstration of photography's role in the construction of myths.

'A lil help', Frida Orupabo, 2021

Frida Orupabo

Last year, artist Frida Orupabo exhibited I Have Seen A Million Pictures of My face and Still I Have No Idea at Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. The show questioned everything from ethics, race, and identity to sexuality and politics through the power of collage, a fine tool when an artist knows how to use it well (just look at trailblazers Hannah Höch, Martha Rosler and Deborah Roberts - the latter bearing significant resemblance to Orupabo's own practice). Orupabo's figures, first dislocated, are reassembled layer by layer in a complex and poetic manoeuvre that simultaneously denounces one-dimensional depictions of Black lives. Her collaged cutouts hold our gaze and invite various readings of the stories and lives of the people depicted, reimagining the historical Black female body using preexisting circulating material online.

'Ex-Slave Gordon', Arthur Jafa

Arthur Jafa

In 2017, Jafa appeared in our In Your Face series, interviewed by then SHOWstudio's Carrie Scott. In the discussion, the pair unpacked the meaning of 'radical' while acknowledging the importance of difference, both principles Jafa has made sure to arm himself with since the beginning of his career in the 1980s. Sought after by Spike Lee, Stanley Kubrick, and Solange Knowles alike, Jafa - who mainly works in video and visual art - is changing representations of blackness in museums and beyond. Drawing from a rich collection of images, film footage and music, the artist uncompromisingly articulates the black experience, confronting us with a new black aesthetic that avoids the clichés of fixed hierarchies and linear storytelling.



In Your Face: Interviews

06 March 2012
A collection of confrontational interviews with subjects from the worlds of art, fashion and celebrity.

Interview: Arthur Jafa

24 November 2017
Visual artist Arthur Jafa and Carrie Scott unpick the meaning of radical and the importance of difference.

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20 February 2023
Plaster Magazine profile 2008 Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey for their eighth issue, with an accompanied interview by SHOWstudio contributor Joe Bobowicz.
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