Unseen Congratulates: Winner 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

by Unseen May 29 2015

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize awards £30,000 for a specific body of work of a living photographer with significant contribution to photography in Europe. Set up in 1996 by The Photographers’ Gallery in London, the prize aims to showcase and highlight new talent.

This years' finalists included Nikolai Bakharev (1946, Russia), Zanele Muholi (1972, South Africa) and 2013 Unseen campaign artist Viviane Sassen (1972, Netherlands). Michael Subotzky (1981, South Africa) and Patrick Waterhouse (1981, UK) were awarded the 2015 prize 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.

Of the work, Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery and non-voting chair 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."

Previous recipients of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize include Richard Mosse for the exhibition The Enclave in 2014, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin for their publication War Primer 2 in 2013, and John Stezekar in 2012. 

Works by the shortlisted photographers are on display at The Photographers’ Gallery in London until the 7th of June and at the Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Museum for Modern Art) in Frankfurt. 

Untitled 1, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008 © Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse/Goodman Gallery