The global award in photography and sustainability

Powerful works shortlisted for Prix Pictet Earth

Powerful works shortlisted for Prix Pictet Earth

The Prix Pictet Earth shortlist was announced at a special evening screening in Arles on 9 July. The screening was part of the opening events of the 40th Les Rencontres d’Arles festival. An audience of over 2,500 people watched as the portfolios of the twelve shortlisted artists appeared before them, one after the other, on the giant screen that had been erected at the heart of Arles’ Théâtre Antique.

What they saw was a stunning collection of images by twelve photographers from nine different countries. The list included some of the world’s leading artists together with some comparative newcomers. Each of them had produced outstandingly powerful work on ‘Earth’ – the theme of this years award.

The shortlist was selected from what the chairman of the jury, Francis Hodgson, described as an ‘exceptional’ submission, from over three hundred international candidates. The shortlisted artists will now prepare for an exhibition at Passage de Retz, Paris, where the winner of this year’s Prix Pictet will be announced by Kofi Annan on 22 October 2009. A further award, in the form of a commission for one of the shortlisted photographers to visit a region where Pictet & Cie are currently supporting a sustainability project, will be announced at the same time.

The shortlisted artists are: 

Darren Almond, UK
Christopher Anderson, Canada
Sammy Baloji, Congo
Edward Burtynsky, Canada
Andreas Gursky, Germany
Naoya Hatakeyama, Japan
Nadav Kander, UK
Ed Kashi, USA
Abbas Kowsari, Iran
Yao Lu, China
Edgar Martins, Portugal
Chris Steele-Perkins, UK

An independent jury of seven leading figures from the worlds of the visual arts and the environment applauded the power and artistic excellence of the 2009 submissions, exploring the theme of ‘earth’ and the man-made scars left upon it by unsustainable human enterprise. The photographs tell of the harmful and often irreversible effects of exploiting the earth’s resources, and reflect on the immediate and long-term impact of unsustainable development on communities across the globe.

Subjects featured in the work of the shortlisted artists range from scenes of a Mexican garbage dump where people forage to sustain a pitiful existence, to the documentation of the changing landscape and displaced communities of China’s Yangtze River, to the depiction of the devastating impact of oil production in the Niger Delta, to name but a few.

A brief selection of shortlisted works will be previewed at Purdy Hicks Gallery in London from the 5 – 11 October, before the full exhibition of shortlisted work open at the Passage de Retz gallery in Paris on the 22 October. The Prix Pictet shortlist exhibition will run until 24 November 2009.

This year, Prix Pictet will collaborate with FIAC (22 – 25 October), Paris’ major international contemporary and modern art fair, and Paris Photo, the world’s leading event for photography (19 – 22 November). The Prix Pictet exhibition will then begin an international tour of ten venues already confirmed, which include the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai and the Eindhoven University of Technology. The Prix Pictet Secretariat is currently reviewing proposals from several major international galleries.

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