May 21st, 2014

German Photographer Michael Schmidt Awarded $112,500 Prix Pictet

From "Lebensmittel," Michael Schmidt's series on food production and consumption.

From “Lebensmittel,” Michael Schmidt’s series on food production and consumption.

Michael Schmidt was awarded the fifth Prix Pictet, a photography prize worth $112,500, in a ceremony this evening at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The award is sponsored by Swiss wealth managers the Pictet Group.

Schmidt was recognized for his long-term project “Lebensmittel,” translated as “food stuff,” which he made between 2006 and 2010. Sir David King, the jury chair, called Schmidt’s project “an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves,” according to a press release issued by the Prix Pictet organization. The Prix Pictet honors photographers whose work examines critical social and environmental issues, and the theme for this iteration of the prize was “Consumption.”

The shortlisted photographers included Adam Bartos (United States), Motoyuki Daifu (Japan), Rineke Dijkstra (The Netherlands), Hong Hao (China), Mishka Henner (Belgium), Juan Fernando Herrán (Colombia), Boris Mikhailov (Ukraine), Abraham Oghobase (Nigeria), Michael Schmidt (Germany), Allan Sekula (United States) and Laurie Simmons (United States).

Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general and honorary president of Prix Pictet, praised the shortlisted photographers for their “powerful images that ought to persuade governments, businesses—and each of us as individual consumers—of the need for a fundamental rethink of the principles on which present-day affluence is founded. The issue of unsustainable consumption, and in particular food and nutrition security, is not simply at the forefront of the global political stage, it is now firmly on the personal agenda of each and every one of us.”

Previous winners include Benoît Aquin, Nadav Kander, Mitch Epstein and Luc Delahaye.

The jury for the fifth Prix Pictet included: Sir King, chairman, UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change (SRCC); Peter Aspden, arts writer, Financial Times; Luc Delahaye, photographer; Fumio Nanjo, director, Mori Art Museum; Loa Haagen Pictet, art consultant & curator; Martin Barnes, senior curator of photographs, Victoria and Albert Museum; Wang Shu, architect; Elisabeth Sussman, curator of photography, Whitney Museum of American Art.

An exhibition of the work of the shortlisted photographers opens tomorrow at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where it will show through June 14, 2014.

November 14th, 2013

Shortlist for $109K Prix Pictet Announced

An image from Mishka Henner's series "Beef & Oil" on the Prix Pictet website.

An image from Mishka Henner’s series “Beef & Oil” on the Prix Pictet website.

The shortlist for the fifth Prix Pictet was announced last night in Paris. Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, will announce the winner of the CHF 100,000 (approx. $109,218 US) prize, which will be awarded to a photography project fitting the theme “consumption,” on May 21, 2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The 11 shortlisted photographers and projects were selected by an independent jury from a pool of more than 650 nominations.

The Shortlisted photographers are: Adam Bartos of the United States, who was nominated for his project “Yard Sale”; Motoyuki Daifu of Japan, nominated for “Family”; Rineke Dijkstra of the Netherlands, nominated for “Almerisa”; Hong Hao of China, nominated for “My Things”; Mishka Henner of Belgium, nominated for “Beef & Oil”; Juan Fernando Herrán of Colombia, nominated for “Escalas”; Boris Mikhailov of Ukraine, nominated for “Tea, Coffee & Cappuccino”; Abraham Oghobase of Nigeria, nominated for “Untitled 2012”; Michael Schmidt of Germany, nominated for “Lebensmittel”; Allan Sekula (who died in August of this year) of the United States, nominated for “Fish Story”; and Laurie Simmons of the United States, nominated for “The Love Doll.”

In addition to awarding the prize, the Pictet & Cie, the Geneva-based bank that founded the prize in 2008, will award a commission to one of the nominees to create a project in an area of the world where the Pictet Group supports a sustainability project.

Previous Prix Pictet winners include Luc Delahaye, Mitch Epstein, Benoit Aquin and Nadav Kander.