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PRIX PICTET 2019 HOPE January 22, 2019

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Perhaps in our ability to carry on in adversity lies hope for us all. Hope that, despite the catastrophic damage that we have visited upon the natural world and upon the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, it is not too late to reverse the damage that we have done.

Kofi Annan (1938-2018), Hon. President, Prix Pictet, 2017

Patrick Brown Australia

The theme for the eighth cycle of the Prix Pictet is Hope – a theme that offers a wide range of creative possibilities and a strong set of connections to the Prix Pictet’s overriding theme of sustainability. Hope in the face of adversity. Recycling. Reforestation. Rewilding. Science – advances in medicine – and technological solutions for global environmental problems. Falling poverty levels. It is time to examine some of the positive actions on sustainability that are beginning to emerge by contrast with the alarming analysis that constantly assails us in the global media.

The next shortlist will be announced at Les Rencontres d’Arles in July 2019 and the winner at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in November 2019.

Thailand based Australian photographer Patrick Brown is one of the nominees. It has been a big year for Patrick with his work on the Rohinga crisis and his award from World Press.

Patrick Brown Australia

These are his words and a response to his nomination:

‘I’m proud and honoured to have been nominated for the prestigious Prix Pictet for this year’s theme, Hope.

When I first started working on the “Hope” project in 2009, I simply thought about the word which at first seemed full of positive connotations. After much deliberation and with little progress on what subject I was going to photograph, I decided to take a step back and examine the foundations of the meaning of “hope”. The Ancient Greeks associated the word with evil and malevolence, because of its association with the allegory of Pandora. When the box was opened all manner of evils were released to beset humanity; the only thing which remained captive in the box was hope. I found myself drawn to an essence of duality inherent in its meaning. The existence of the word “Hope” can only coincide with the word “Doubt”. The simple act of saying I’m hoping to meet my friend this evening, also implies doubt about it happening. I started to see hope and doubt as Yin and Yang. I became fascinated by these two opposing elements, the contrast of good and evil, right and wrong. And yet life isn’t simply a string of rights and wrongs, it is not simply black and white, there is the infinite/finite horizon line of life, hope sits in the grey area between these two lines. “Grey” the space between hope and doubt, the space between right and wrong – the Japanese word “Ma”. ‘Ma’ denotes the negative space between objects. It was this word that would take me to Australia in search of my own personal definition.

The vast open space of the Australian landscape is for me the place where “hope” and doubt collide. A landscape that has been abandoned by mankind, yet however deserted, its space has details, it has emotions, it has life. Most of my previous work to date retains elements of human interaction, presence, emotional implications and overtones. Yet it was the lack of human evidence in my “hope” work that has heightens its inherent sense of raw human emotion, and thus hope. Without emotions there can be no progress, no drive, and no ambition. What we humans do and why do it, satisfies our basic emotional needs. We strive to survive through hope and maybe a lack of hope leaves the door ajar for doubt to creep in. Maybe it is this fine balance between the two that shapes our destinies and gives us the strength to build on despair and joy in equal measure. This is my personal definition of “hope””

Prix Pictet 2017 “SPACE” February 25, 2017

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The Swiss-backed international prize Prix Pictet aims to recognise excellent photography, while also exploring the global issues surrounding the environment and sustainability.

In the past it has organised shortlisted photographers’ works around appropriate themes, such as water, earth, power and consumption. However, 2017’s theme, space, is less obviously ecological.

One of 2017’s photographers, the Düsseldorf School’s Thomas Ruff, interprets this theme quite literally, with images of the surface of Mars, taken by a high-resolution camera aboard a NASA spacecraft.

However, others get at the theme more obliquely. The acclaimed Irish photographer and Magnum member Richard Mosse’s work Heat Maps captures European migrants’ journeys using thermal imaging technology; Russia’s Sergey Ponomarev documents the struggle for space within the Middle East; while German photographer Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression series looks at the chronic overcrowding on Japanese public transport.

There shouldn’t be quite such a squash at the accompanying exhibition, which runs from now until 28 May 2017 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, though space will be a bit more of a premium on 4 May, when the prize’s honorary president, Kofi Annan, presents the winning photographer with 100,000 Swiss Francs.

Prix Pictet 2016 March 15, 2016

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Maxim Dondyuk nominated for the Prix Pictet. July 12, 2015

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Last night at a screening at Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Prix Pictet Chairman, Stephen Barber, announced the shortlist for the sixth Prix Pictet.

The shortlist features work by 12 artists from 7 countries on 4 continents. In making their selection, the independent jury, chaired by Sir David King, praised the outstanding quality of the portfolios under review.

The full shortlist is as follows; Ilit Azoulay (Israel), Valérie Belin (France), Matthew Brandt (USA), Maxim Dondyuk (Ukraine), Alixandra Fazzina (UK), Ori Gersht (Israel), John Gossage (USA), Pieter Hugo (South Africa), Gideon Mendel (South Africa), Sophie Ristelhueber (France), Brent Stirton (South Africa) and Yang Yongliang (China).

The winner of the sixth Prix Pictet award will be announced by Kofi Annan at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris on Thursday 12 November 2015.

Prix Pictet Disorder will then embark on a world tour beginning with scheduled exhibitions in Rome and Geneva, followed by planned shows in Shanghai, Barcelona, Lagos, Moscow, Brussels, Berlin and New York.

The work from the shortlisted artists, together with outstanding images from the wider selection will appear in the book Disorder, to be published by teNeues in November. The portfolios of the shortlisted artists can be viewed at www.prixpictet.com/portfolios 

Press releases:

Image: Yongliang Yang ©Prix Pictet Ltd 2015

Ukraine’s Maxim Dondyuk is one of the nominated photographers for the Prix Pictet. Huge congratulations to a  man who has covered the Ukrainian conflict with respect and courage.

Culture of the Confrontation, his work from the Maidan (Independence Square in Kyiv) received an important award from Visa Pour L’Image earlier this year. We wish him and all the nominees the best of luck.

Photo Maxim Dondyuk




Prix Pictet POWER September 29, 2012

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The Prix Pictet is the world’s leading photography and sustainability prize supported by the Swiss bank Pictet & Cie. The Prix Pictet sets out to find photographs that communicate important messages about global environmental issues under a broad theme. Entry to the Prix Pictet is by nomination. The nominators for the Prix Pictet are a group of leading experts in the visual arts, including directors and curators of major museums and galleries as well as journalists and critics. They lead the search for a series of images that have the power and artistic quality demanded by the Prix. Each nominator is invited to propose a maximum of five photographers. The prize will be awarded in early October.

The theme of the fourth cycle of the Prix Pictet is Power which as a theme has great creative reach. Power embraces contradiction and paradox in equal measure. The same forces that result in disaster and despair can also generate hope and renewal. Advances in technology to generate renewable energy mean that the powers of the wind, the sea and the sun can now be converted into sustainable forms of energy.

The shortlisted artists are: