SHORTLISTED PHOTOGRAPHERS

Yann Gross, Switzerland
Yvonne Lacet, The Netherlands
Matthieu Lavanchy, Switzerland
Dhruv Malhotra, India
S. Billie Mandle, USA
Cara Phillips, USA
James Reeve, Great Britain / France
Robin Schwartz, USA
Indre Serpytyte, Lithuania / Great Britain
Carlo Van de Roer, New Zealand / USA

 
PHOTOGRAPHY JURY

Oliviero Toscani, Photographer, Italy
Johan Svensson, Art Director, Vogue, Paris
Claudia Donaldson, Picture Editor, London
Richard Pandiscio, Founder and Director, Pandiscio Co., New York
Susanna Brown, Curator for Photography, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Saskia Asser, Curator, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam
Dung Ngo, Senior Editor, Rizzoli, New York
Ralf Zimmermann, Photo Editor, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Munich
Patrick Burgoyne, Editor-in-Chief, Creative Review, London
Tho Van Tran, Creative Director, Air Paris, Paris
Walter Pfeiffer, Photographer, Zurich

 
Yann Gross
Switzerland

"My work mostly focuses on identities and dreams, and what it is to belong to a community. Iím really interested in the way people come together. Most people need to belong to a group or a family.

This is the story of the first Ugandan skateboarders, who built a skatepark themselves in Kitintale, a working-class suburb of Kampala. With no assistance from government or large NGOs, kids from Uganda took significant steps to overcome boredom and poverty through skateboarding. Skateboarding keeps young people busy, combats the development of negative habits and develops a sense of community. Furthermore, the elder skateboarders have become like educators. They talk about the problems that many Ugandan families are facing, like HIV or malaria, and try to inculcate values such as respect and solidarity among the younger skaters.

I am myself a skateboarder and I actually spent more time on a board with these youngsters than behind my camera. So far I have been to Kitintale twice, living there for a couple of months. I joined these kids and we organised the first skateboarding contest in Uganda. Now we are trying to promote the activity in East Africa."

Yann Gross (1981) lives in Switzerland. He graduated from ECAL (…cole Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne) in 2007. The following year, Yann was awarded with the Photo Espana Descubrimientos ("Discovery") Prize and nominated as one of the 13 emerging artists of the year by the American Photo magazine. Among his most recent solo shows feature "Horizonville" (Winterthur, Madrid, Vilnius, in 2009) and "Lavina"(Budapest, in 2008).
Yann Gross is a member of the photographers network Piece of Cake.

www.yanngross.com


Yann Gross, Kitintale, 2008 - 2009
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Yann Gross, Kitintale, 2008 - 2009
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Yann Gross, Kitintale, 2008 - 2009
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Yvonne Lacet
The Netherlands

"I am searching for archetypical images of modern city spaces. Places that everyone recognises instantly. The suburbs with blocks of flats and shopping malls, with similar shops everywhere. Parks with perfectly cut rows of trees and bushes. Places without many specific characteristics, the so-called non-places, places that are spread around the world like building blocks. From my own observations and images from the internet and computer games, I create sketches that I then develop into paper sculptures. Eventually these sculptures are photographed. By means of photography I create a frame within which I can layer nuances of realism.

I like to work with paper and cardboard because of the simplicity of the material. A white piece of paper almost stands as a symbol for emptiness or blankness. When creating the scenes, I don’t hide seams, cuts and glue spots, for these are aspects that contribute to the experience of the cityscapes as quickly built scenery, often destined to exist only briefly.

Squares, rectangles and circles are the working materials from which I build my sculptures. I want to limit myself to the simplest forms. Details such as windows, doors and curtains are hardly present. Only the basis remains."

Dutch photographer Yvonne Lacet (1980) lives in Amsterdam. She graduated from HKU, Utrecht Art School. In 2009, her work has been showcased at Art Cologne, G.A.S Station, in Berlin and nominated for the Bouw in Beeld prize.

www.yvonnelacet.nl


Yvonne Lacet, Creation, 2009
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Yvonne Lacet, Template of a Sleeping City, 2009
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Yvonne Lacet, Template of a Sleeping City, 2009
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Matthieu Lavanchy
Switzerland

"We live in an age when we are bombarded by violent and dramatic images from the mass media and the entertainment industry. These disturbing images slowly become part of our everyday life, creating an inescapable climate of fear.

In light of this, I imagined the character of Mr. Schuhlmann. He is someone whose inner state of emergency affects his whole life. In his mind, the outside world is an imminent threat; an intruder that must be repelled by any means. He creates devices to protect himself from fantasised and irrational dangers, isolating himself in a physical, but mostly psychological fortress."

Matthieu Lavanchy (1986) lives in Switzerland, where he graduated from ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne). His work has been showcased during the Art Cologne Fair and on the occasion of the VFG Nachwuchförderpreis in Zürich, Basel and Lausanne. He has worked editorially for Wallpaper* and Sang Bleu. In 2009, Matthieu Lavanchy was a resident at the School of Visual Arts' programme, "Photoglobal", in New York.

www.matthieulavanchy.com


Matthieu Lavanchy, Mr. Schuhlmann or The Man in the High Castle, 2008
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Matthieu Lavanchy, Mr. Schuhlmann or The Man in the High Castle, 2008
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Matthieu Lavanchy, Mr. Schuhlmann or The Man in the High Castle, 2008
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Dhruv Malhotra
India

"Darkness has always held a fascination for me. Night, by its very nature, leaves itself open to a number of interpretations – a shroud of ambiguity hangs over things and there is a certain freedom suspended in the darkness and shadows, which makes everything more alive.

‘Sleepers’ emerged from a larger body of work about the city in which I live - I have been photographing Noida at night since 2007. I have taken pictures of people sleeping on the streets, out in the open in the immediate physical space and the environment they inhabit. These pictures are as much about the space as they are about the sleepers themselves.

The night offers unusual, sometimes bizarre images in India. Full to the brink with people, things tip over. People sleep on the streets, in parks, in fields, on major road junctions, on benches, on chairs, on the pavement, in warehouses, below Metro structures, in tents, at building sites, under trees and in guardhouses. At some levels, ‘Sleepers’ works as a metaphor for the general state of affairs in this nation and perhaps the present state of my own life. This work is a measure and indicator of our collective slumber."

Dhruv Malhotra (1985) was born in Jaipur. He majored in Economics from Mumbai University. His photographic work has been published in Ojo de Pez (2009).


Dhruv Malhotra, Sleepers, 2009
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Dhruv Malhotra, Sleepers, 2009
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Dhruv Malhotra, Sleepers, 2009
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S. Billie Mandle
USA

"These photographs were made in confessionals, the small rooms found in Catholic churches where people confess their sins. Almost all religions have theologies of repentance; what makes the confessional unusual is that it acts as a physical manifestation of an abstract idea. It gives form to the interiority of penance. The walls and kneelers of the confessional embody the prayers of the penitents, and the penitents in turn leave their mark on the confessional.

I am interested in how the photographs, as physical objects, might speak to what is intangible and ineffable about these spaces. I was raised Catholic and so the traditions of these rooms are familiar to me. Photographing the confessional is itself a type of ritual: I use a large-format camera and available light, lifting the curtain of the confessionals and looking into the darkness, just as I lift the dark cloth of the camera.

The confessionals contain contradiction: light and darkness, corporeality and transcendence. In making these images I approach the confessionals as metaphorical spaces – rooms that suggest the paradoxes of faith and forgiveness."

S. Billie Mandle (1978) is based in New York. She graduated in 2008 from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. In 2009, her work has been showcased at Eyelevel, Brooklyn and published in Afterimage.

www.billiemandle.com


S. Billie Mandle, Reconciliation, 2009
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S. Billie Mandle, Reconciliation, 2009
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S. Billie Mandle, Reconciliation, 2009
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Cara Phillips
USA

"America’s current cultural fixation with beauty is a complex and pervasive phenomenon. Modern technology has enabled us to correct or enhance our bodies with a never-ending array of procedures that can make us beautiful. For many Americans, the process of remaking themselves is a full-time job. Because we believe, as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website states, that ‘Even a small change on the outside can create an extraordinary change on the inside, allowing an individual’s self-confidence to flourish.’ However, patients that enter these offices expecting this promise of happiness, instead must often confront their own fears, self-loathing and anxieties.

This collection of photographs resulted from both a personal struggle with body issues and a long history in the beauty industry. When I set out to explore this world, I was hoping to capture a world rarely seen by those outside of it, but during that process I confronted of my own feelings about beauty."

Cara Phillips (1974) lives in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited lately at Scope New York (2010) and at the Jen Bekman Gallery (New York, 2009), and published in Allure and Cabinet.
Cara has a blog, "Ground Glass", and is the founder of Women in Photography, a bi-monthly showcase -co-curated with Amy Elkins- and of "POC North America", a photographers network.

www.cara-phillips.com



Cara Phillips, White Consultation Chair, Upper East Side, 2006, from the series Singular Beauties
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Cara Phillips, Brown Consultation Chair, Beverly Hills, 2007, from the series Singular Beauties
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Cara Phillips, from the series Singular Beauties
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James Reeve
United Kingdom / France

"I have been working on my ‘Lightscapes’ project for more than three years. The inspiration for it comes from a fascination with the night, which I can trace back to the very beginning of my interest in photography.

Over the years I have photographed the night in many ways, often shooting very long exposures to embrace the unique characteristics given to landscapes by the moon and artificial city lights.

Working on ‘Lightscapes’, I have been exploring nighttime in a new way, stripping away normal visual references to focus not on the landscape itself, but on the vivid scars of light that pierce the darkness. Vast industrialised cities and iconic landmarks are represented as anonymous patterns of light, whilst the contours of buildings are stripped away to reveal the contents within."

Born in London, James Reeve (1974) now lives in Marseille. He shoots for Wallpaper*, The Sunday Times and Monocle. His work has received recognition from the National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize, London.

www.jamesreeve.com


James Reeve, Lightscapes, 2009
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James Reeve, Lightscapes, 2009
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James Reeve, Lightscapes, 2009
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Robin Schwartz
USA

"My photographs are drawn from real journeys undertaken with my daughter, Amelia.

I have always been driven to depict relationships with animals, but the photographs are not documents; they are evidence of the invented worlds that Amelia and I explore, the fables we enact, where the line between human and animal overlaps or is blurred. Animals support, motivate and unite us. Photography enables us to access our dreams.

Amelia is my priority, my co-conspirator, my muse and my bliss."

American photographer Robin Schwartz (1957) lives and works in New Jersey. She graduated from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. The body of work that she is presently pursuing, Amelia's World, has been shown lately at Pulse Miami with M+B Gallery, Los Angeles (2009) and at the New York Photo Festival (2008). Amelia's World book was published by Aperture, in 2008.

www.robinschwartz.net



Robin Schwartz, Elmo, Amelia and Abu, from the series Amelia's World, 2006 - in progress
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Robin Schwartz, Tower, from the series Amelia's World, 2006 - in progress
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Robin Schwartz, Touch, from the series Amelia's World, 2006 - in progress
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Indre Serpytyte
Lithuania / United Kingdom

"In 1944 a Cold War began, a war that was brutal, inhumane. A war that has now been almost forgotten. The Western powers continued to consider the occupation of the Baltic and Eastern European countries by the Stalinist powers to be illegal despite the postwar conferences that had recognised the borders of the USSR. Hidden behind the Iron Curtain, the occupation of the Soviet bloc continued for 50 years and destroyed the lives of millions.

It is estimated that there were at least 20 million deaths. Many believe that the real figure is closer to 60 million.

Despite not receiving any backing from the West, the partisans fought against the Soviet regime. These partisans had to abandon both their families and homes and seek sanctuary in the forests. In numerous villages and towns, dwellings were seized by KGB officers for use as control centres, for interrogation, imprisonment and torture. These homely spaces were converted into places of terror. As a result the forest not only became the place of refuge, but also the place of mass graves.

The most active and forceful resistance came from the Lithuanian ‘Forest Brothers’, lasting for 10 years."

Indre Serpytyte (1983) was born in Lithuania. She is based in London, where she completed in 2009 a Master of Arts at the Royal College of Arts. Her work has been featured in Ojo de Pez and Next Level and shown at Paris Photo 2009 with The Photographers' Gallery and at Yossi Milo Gallery in 2007.

www.indre-serpytyte.com


Indre Serpytyte, Former NKVD - MVD - MGB - KGB Buildings, from the series "(1944 - 1991)", 2009
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Indre Serpytyte, Former NKVD - MVD - MGB - KGB Buildings, from the series "(1944 - 1991)", 2009
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Indre Serpytyte, Former NKVD - MVD - MGB - KGB Buildings, from the series "(1944 - 1991)", 2009
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Carlo Van de Roer
New Zealand / USA

"Aura photographs are a relatively recent example of spirit photography. Unlike photographs that claim to record ghosts, aura photographs evolved from a type of spirit photography that sought to objectively measure and document unseen aspects of the human body.

The aura camera has undertones of pseudo-scientific authority and attributes associated with a less mediated type of photography. It’s a modified land camera that uses instant film, has one button and is connected directly to the subject, allowing little mediation or manipulation from the photographer.

The subject is connected to the camera by hand-plates measuring biofeedback, which is translated into information about their emotions, potential, aspirations, and so on, and is depicted as an aura of colour in the Polaroid. The camera also prints out a diagram and detailed description of the portrait. This caption describes to the viewer the camera’s interpretation of the subject at the time of being photographed, and separately, how they were seen by others, such as the photographer.

This project explores the idea that a portrait photograph can reveal an accurate, otherwise unseen insight into the subject’s character, but also how a camera’s mechanisms – beyond the basic optical/light-sensitive one – mediate the portrait-making process whether employed deliberately or not by the photographer.

I am including people who are familiar to me, or that I have expectations of – friends and people whose personalities are in the public sphere."

Carlo Van de Roer (1975), from New Zealand, currently lives in New York. He graduated from Victoria University in New Zealand. In 2007, he was a nominee of gallerist Jen Bekman's Hey Hot Shot competition. He has participated in group shows in institutions such as Cooper Design Space, (Los Angeles in 2009) or MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Leon, Spain in 2008) and recently showed his work at Pulse and Aipad fairs in New York with gallerist M+B (Los Angeles).

www.carlovanderoer.com
www.theportraitmachine.com


Carlo Van de Roer, Phillip Attar, 2008, The Portrait Machine Project
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Carlo Van de Roer, Miranda July, 2009, The Portrait Machine Project
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Carlo Van de Roer, Lorenzo Martone, 2009, The Portrait Machine Project
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Yann Gross

Yvonne Lacet

Matthieu Lavanchy

Dhruv Malhotra

S. Billie Mandle

Cara Phillips

James Reeve

Robin Schwartz

Indre Serpytyte

Carlo Van de Roer