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Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024 shortlist announced: VALIE EXPORT, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Lebohang Kganye, Hrair Sarkissian

Release date:
01 Nov 2023
| Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024 shortlist announced: VALIE EXPORT, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Lebohang Kganye, Hrair Sarkissian

The four international artists shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024 are: VALIE EXPORT, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Lebohang Kganye and Hrair Sarkissian

This long-standing annual Prize, originally established in 1996 by the Photographers’ Gallery in London, identifies and rewards artists for their projects that have made a significant contribution to photography over the previous 12 months.

Over its 27-year history, the Prize has become renowned as one of the most important international awards for photographers, spotlighting outstanding, innovative and thought-provoking work. The 2024 shortlisted projects all critically engage with urgent concerns, from the remnants of war and conflict, experiences of diasporic communities and decolonisation, to contested land, heritage, equality and gender. Together these artists demonstrate photography’s unique capacity to reveal what is invisible, forgotten or marginalised and imagine a path to redress.

The annual exhibition of shortlisted projects will be on show at The Photographers’ Gallery, London from 23 February to 2 June 2024. It will then be on display from 15 June to 15 September 2024 at the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation in Eschborn/Frankfurt.
The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony held at The Photographers’ Gallery on 16 May 2024, with the other finalists each receiving £5,000. Full details of the Prize exhibition and award evening will be announced in early 2024.

The 2024 shortlisted artists and projects are:

VALIE EXPORT – for the exhibition “VALIE EXPORT – The Photographs” at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (25 February – 29 May 2023) and originated at the Albertina in Vienna. 

VALIE EXPORT (b. 1940, Austria) became notorious from the late 1960s for her radical performances and critical examination of women’s role in society and the arts. Pointing out entrenched patriarchal structures in mass media image culture, her fearless artistic practice exposes the role representation plays in the construction of gender, sexuality and social norms.

Through photographs, filmic works and installations, EXPORT deals with key issues including the body and the gaze, performance and the image, and subject and environment. Photography has played a pivotal role in her work, from documentation to multimedia installations and single works. EXPORT also often staged performances for the camera, with the intention of deconstructing the photographic gaze and its implicit power structures. 

For over 50 years, VALIE EXPORT has influenced generations of female artists. In ground-breaking works such as “Aktionshose: Genitalpanik” (“Action Pants: Genital Panic”, 1969), “TAPP und TASTKINO” (“TOUCH CINEMA”, 1968) and “Hyperbulie” (“Hyperbulia”, 1973), EXPORT contorts, cuts and deforms her body to expose the profound social oppression of women – a theme that continues to resonate today.

Gauri Gill and Rajesh Vangad – for the publication “Fields of Sight” (2023) published by Edition Patrick Frey.

Through fusing photography and Warli painting, photographer Gauri Gill (b. 1970, India) and painter Rajesh Vangad (b. 1975, India) collaboratively reinvent the practice of painted photography, interweaving historical and generational painting practices into the photographic object. Their complex image dialogue addresses the politics of aesthetics, environmental destruction, memory and decolonisation. 

The project began in 2013 in the Adivasi village of Ganjad, Dahanu. Vangad, who grew up in this landscape, served as Gill’s knowledgeable guide. While Gill’s photographs captured the ever-changing qualities of the land, they fell short of revealing the hidden but essential elements beyond the visible. Vangad bridged this gap by embellishing Gill's images with intricate drawings. His vivid narratives depict the multifaceted realities of Warli life in the region, from floods and droughts to family and village life, unrest and terror, spirits and myths, light and shadow. The result is a new visual record that encapsulates multiple truths and systems of knowledge.
In this encyclopaedic publication, the artists challenge contemporary perspectives. They explore how viewers ascribe meaning to a place and how the act of viewing itself creates complicity. Through their creative and experimental partnership, they encourage viewers to explore the hidden, elusive layers that exist beneath the surface. 

Lebohang Kganye – for the exhibition “Haufi nyana? I’ve come to take you home” at Foam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (17 February – 21 May 2023).

Lebohang Kganye’s (b. 1990, South Africa) photographic projects cross personal and collective histories. She draws from shared oral narratives and fictional texts, exploring South Africa’s layered history before, during and after apartheid and colonialism. 

In her vast, experimental installations, Kganye creates a space that resides between memory and fantasy. Here she collects stories from her family with excerpts from South African literature, and rewrites them into theatrical scripts. Silhouettes, cut-outs, puppets, shadows and ghosts, fashioned from material found in photo albums as well as her own compositions, (re-)enact these scripts and bring them to life. The exhibition features four projects which use a complex array of media – from photographic montages in “Ke Lefa Laka: Her-Story” (“It’s my inheritance: Her-Story”, 2013) to spatial installation in “Mohlokomediwa Tora” (“Lighthouse Keeper”, 2018), and film animation in “Shadows of Re-Memory” (2021) to patchwork in “Mosebetsi wa Dirithi” (“The Work of Shadows”, 2022).

The exhibition's title, "Haufi nyana?" meaning "too close?" in Sesotho, one of South Africa's official languages, reflects the dialogue between the viewer and the artist. It touches on notions of home as heritage and identity, as well as physical and mental spaces. Her skilful blending of images and words allows her to navigate the complexity of the South African experience, opening new ways of understanding and contributing to the process of decolonisation.

Hrair Sarkissian – for the exhibition “The Other Side of Silence” at Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands (29 November 2022 – 14 May 2023).

Hrair Sarkissian’s (b. 1973, Syria) conceptual photography focuses on deeply personal narratives that reflect the complexity of larger historical and social issues. In “The Other Side of Silence”, ostensibly serene landscapes and calm urban environments become stages for accounts of trauma and the expression of underlying socio-political realities. Born and raised in Syria, the grandson of Armenian genocide refugees, much of Sarkissian’s work can be seen as an exploration of the hidden emotional nuances that permeate the lives of diverse diasporic communities. 

Sarkissian’s practice, characterised by his austere, large-scale photographs, moving image works, sculptures, sound works, and installations, oscillates between the creation of meditative dreamscapes and haunting deathscapes. In these spaces, the originally excluded muted voice is briefly offered room. Drawing from personal memories and interactions, and extensive research, Sarkissian aims to evoke emotional experiences among audiences, fostering awareness and a sense of solidarity.

This mid-career overview, spanning two decades, moves through the public squares of Aleppo, Latakia and Damascus, the skies of Palmyra over modern Syria and the post-industrial landscapes of Armenia. Despite employing analogue photographic practices, Sarkissian’s images play with the vernacular possibilities of photography as a mass medium, offering the opportunity to consider what official history conceals, and the potential for re-writing it. 

The 2024 Jury and statements:

This year’s Jury are: Rahaab Allana, Curator/Publisher, at Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi, India; Quentin Bajac, Director of the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt/Main, Germany; Laura El-Tantawy, documentary photographer; and Shoair Mavlian, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London, as voting Chair.

Shoair Mavlian, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery and voting Chair, said: 

“This year’s shortlist reflects the exhibitions programmed and photobooks published in Europe in the past 12 months. It brings together a range of important themes showing the breadth of contemporary practice, such as feminist histories and performance, de-colonial histories, contemporary conflict and displacement and indigenous rights. We are looking forward to seeing this work at The Photographers’ Gallery in 2024.”

Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, said: 

“This year’s submissions for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize once again show the power of photography to explore, investigate and interrogate our world. 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Deutsche Börse’s partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery and the 25th anniversary of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse. Having been part of the selection jury for 20 years, it is always an honour to select the shortlisted artists with the other jury members, and a joy to still be surprised and moved by the quality and depth of the submissions each year. In this milestone year, we will celebrate collaboration, dialogue and diversity – all of which run through this year’s shortlisted group of exceptional international artists. Congratulations to them all!”

Notes for the editors:

You can find the image sheet with captions here, please contact us directly for high-resolution press images.

Media contacts: 

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation 
Isabelle Hammer
Tel. +49 69 21117014     
The Photographers’ Gallery
Jodie Lewis

Alex Finch 

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation 
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is a non-profit organisation, based in Frankfurt/Main, dedicated to collecting, exhibiting and promoting contemporary photography. The Foundation is responsible for the development and presentation of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse, which now comprises over 2,300 photographic works by around 160 artists from 33 nations. It shows several public exhibitions a year in its exhibition space in Eschborn near Frankfurt am Main. The Foundation supports young artists through awards, scholarships and the annual Talent programme of the Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam Foam. The Foundation also works on exhibitions with international museums and institutions, as well as creating platforms for academic dialogue and research on photography.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize History
Founded in 1996 by The Photographers’ Gallery, and now in its 28th year, the Prize has become one of the most prestigious international arts awards and has launched and established the careers of many photographers over the years. Previously known as the Citigroup Photography Prize, the Gallery has been in collaboration with Deutsche Börse Group since 2005. In 2016 the Prize was retitled the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize following the establishment of the Foundation as a non-profit organisation dedicated to collecting, exhibiting and promoting contemporary photography. The 2024 Prize celebrates 20 years of partnership between Deutsche Börse and The Photographers’ Gallery. The winner of the 2023 Prize was Samuel Fosso for his exhibition Samuel Fosso at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France. Past winners include: Deana Lawson, Cao Fei, Mohamed Bourouissa, Susan Meiselas, Luke Willis Thompson, Dana Lixenberg, Trevor Paglen, Juergen Teller, Rineke Dijkstra, and Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.

The Photographers’ Gallery
The Photographers’ Gallery explores how photography is connecting, captivating and radically changing our world today. The Gallery’s programme and spaces – from exhibitions, talks, workshops and digital platforms, to the galleries, shop and cafe – all explore the beauty, complexity and future of photography. Right outside the Gallery, the very best of contemporary photography is shown for free, day and night, in Soho Photography Quarter.