Work by Mohamed Bourouissa, Anton Kusters, Mark Neville and Clare Strand is to go on show at The Photographers' Gallery in London this February.
The artists are all in the running for the 2020 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize; the overall winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at a special award ceremony in May.
Curated by the gallery's Anna Dannemann, the exhibition highlights the diverse and innovative nature of each photographer's work. It also considers the shared artistic, social and political issues influencing contemporary photography more widely.
On display will be five selected projects by Mohamed Bourouissa, comprising a survey of his work over the past 15 years. Working across photography, video and sculpture, he questions the circulation of knowledge, social control and power dynamics in contemporary French society, and focusses on disenfranchised people and communities.
Artist Clare Strand's conceptual research project, The Discrete Channel with Noise reconsiders an early experiment in the transmission of images via telegraphic communication. It highlights how easily information can be misunderstood, misinterpreted or misused. Strand was inspired by George H. Eckhardt’s publication Electronic Television (1936) and adopted this methodology as a way of exploring the process of transmission and reception, recreating existing photographic images into paintings via encoded messages by telephone.
Anton Kusters' The Blue Skies Project offers a visual response to violence, trauma and memory and contains 1,078 polaroid images, all showing an upward view of a blue sky shot at the last known location of every former Nazi-run concentration and extermination camp across Europe from 1933 to 1945. Questioning the act of commemoration and its potentially limited means of representing grief and suffering, Kusters proposes other ways of seeing and dealing with such history.
Mark Neville's project Parade focuses on a farming community in Brittany. Neville began taking photographs in Guingamp, Brittany ("little Britain") in 2016 and over three years, produced a complex, multi-layered portrait of this tight-knit provincial farming region. Connecting art and social documentary practices, he further photographed different agribusinesses in the community – from small holdings to large industries. The resulting photobook, now accompanied by a publication of essays by Brittany farmers articulating the need for a sustainable, humane, even ecotopian type of agriculture, was sent out to the UK and European ministries of agriculture and food as well as key policymakers, calling for the urgent adoption of more ecological methods of farming.
The 2020 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize Exhibition opens at The Photographers' Gallery, London from 21 February until 7 June 2020. The exhibition will then tour to the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Eschborn/Frankfurt from 26 June until 27 September 2020. For more details visit www.tpg.org.uk.