Michael Schmidt was announced as the winner of the fifth Prix Pictet photography prize, selected from a shortlist of eleven. The winner was chosen for his monumental work Lebensmittel (food stuff) made between 2006 and 2010. The prize, with a value of 100,000 Swiss Francs (USD$112,500, GBP£66,800, EUR€82,000), is sponsored by Swiss wealth and asset managers, the Pictet Group.
Kofi Annan, Honorary President of Prix Pictet, said, ‘the shortlisted artists have made 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.’
Speaking on behalf of the Jury, Sir David King, Chair of the Judges, said, ‘we were privileged to review work by eleven truly outstanding photographers. There were many potential winners but, after much debate, we finally agreed to award the Prix Pictet to Michael Schmidt whose Lebensmittel is an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves.’
The Shortlist of eleven photographers comprised 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). Their work will be on show at the V&A from 22 May to 14 June.
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