The theme of the Prix Pictet 2010 is Growth. This paradoxical theme has proved to be a rich source of inspiration to the artists and nominators of the third cycle of the Prix Pictet. Over 450 nominated artists submitted many outstanding images, communicating powerful messages about the devastating impact of unsustainable human enterprise. In the process of shortlisting twelve photographers, it is inevitable that some remarkable individual images from other photographers have been excluded.
The New Prix Pictet book, Growth, brings many of these photographs together with those taken by the shortlisted photographers and, in doing so, presents a haunting testament to the consequences of a headlong dash for growth. Taken together they constitute a compelling call for action. As Kofi Annan, the Prix Pictet’s Honorary President has said, “these images deepen our understanding of the changes taking place in our world, raise public awareness of the scale of the threat we face and the urgency of taking preventative action.”
The skill, imagination and mastery of form that each of the artists featured in this book brings to their work is clear. What is less obvious is the conviction and the courage with which the artists have documented the harmful and often irreversible effects of exploiting the earth’s resources and the long-term impact of unsustainable development on communities across the globe. It is these qualities too that Growth intends to recognise.
In the words of photographer, critic and Prix Pictet nominator Jörg M Colberg, “This is not art for art’s sake; it is art for our own sake”.
Growth will be published by teNeues, in December 2010.
Image: Michael Kenna, Bus Station, Bangalore, India, 2008, Series: Cityscapes