The Prix Pictet highlights photography on the crucial topic of global sustainability. Now in its fourth season, the current Prix Pictet delves into the theme of “Power.” While we have tapped into sources of power for travel, industry, and our modern lifestyles, we are still largely at the mercy of the powers of nature. Technology and infrastructure can undergo total collapse in the face of storms, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Meanwhile political and social power can either tackle such challenges or become ways to exploit and tyrannize. This multi-faceted subject is portrayed with thought and artistry by the exceptional artists shortlisted for this prestigious photography prize.
Speaking of the theme of the current cycle, Power, Stephen Barber, chairman of the Prix Pictet, said, "From the awesome power of nature, to the industrial might of mankind and the power of people to effect change, this seemed to us a theme with enormous breadth and depth. And so it has proved. Embracing insight and paradox in equal measure, 'Power' has provoked a remarkable response from our artists, uncovering images and issues that are both awe-inspiring and frequently disturbing."
The twelve artists shortlisted for the fourth cycle of the Prix Pictet, the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability, will prepare their work for the finalists’ exhibition to be held at the Saatchi Gallery in London in October. The exhibition will run from 10 – 28 October 2012.
On Tuesday, 9 October 2012 the French photographer Luc Delahaye was announced as winner of the fourth Prix Pictet photography prize, selected from a shortlist of twelve. The winner was chosen for his 10-image submission responding to the theme of Power, drawn from an outstanding body of work produced over the past decade. The prize, with a value of 100,000 Swiss Francs (100,000 dollars, £65,000, €80,000), is sponsored by the Swiss private bank, Pictet & Cie.
Lord Foster of Thames Bank OM, guest of honour, announced the prize at a reception for the opening of Power, an exhibition of the work of the twelve shortlisted photographers at the Saatchi Gallery in London, which opened to the public on Wednesday, 10 October 2012.
The Shortlist of twelve photographers comprised:
Robert Adams (United States, 1937)
Nominated for series: Turning Back, 1999
Daniel Beltrá (Spain, 1964)
Nominated for series: Spill, 2010
Mohamed Bourouissa (Algeria/France, 1978)
Nominated for series: Périphérique, 2006
Philippe Chancel (France, 1959)
Nominated for series: Fukushima: The Irresistible Power of Nature, 2011
Edmund Clark (UK, 1963)
Nominated for series: Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out, 2009
Carl De Keyzer (Belgium, 1958)
Nominated for series: Moments Before the Flood, 2009-2011
Luc Delahaye (France, 1962)
Nominated for various works: 2008-2011
Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan, 1977)
Nominated for series: Still Life in the Zone, 2010
Jacqueline Hassink (Netherlands, 1966)
Nominated for series: Arab Domains, 2005-2006
An-My Lê (United States/Vietnam, 1961)
Nominated for series: 29 Palms, 2003-2004
Joel Sternfeld (United States, 1944)
Nominated for series: When It Changed, 2007
Guy Tillim (South Africa, 1962)
Nominated for series: Congo Democratic, 1997-2006
Jacques de Saussure, Senior Partner of Pictet & Cie, awarded the 40,000 Swiss Francs (40,000 dollars, £27,000, €30,000) Prix Pictet Commission to the UK photographerSimon Norfolk, who will undertake a field trip to Afghanistan where Pictet & Cie are supporting the work of Medair, the Swiss-based humanitarian organization, in the forgotten region of Bamyan Province in Afghanistan.
This year, for the first time, the commissioned photographer was selected from outside the Shortlist of twelve, with the final decision made by the partners of Pictet & Cie, based on a broad list of recommendations by individual Jury members drawn from the entire nominations list of over 650 photographers.
The Prix Pictet has as its mission a search for photographs that communicate powerful messages of global significance under the broad subject of sustainability, with particular attention to environmental issues.
The mandate of the Prix Pictet is to use the power of photography to raise public awareness worldwide to the social and environmental challenges of the new millennium. Launched in 2008 by the Geneva-based private bank Pictet & Cie, the Prix Pictet has rapidly established itself as one of the world’s leading photography prizes.
The Prix Pictet has two elements: a prize of CHF 100,000 awarded to the photographer who, in the opinion of the independent jury, has produced a series of work that addresses most powerfully the theme of the award; and the Commission, awarded by the Partners of Pictet & Cie, in which a nominated photographer is invited to undertake a field trip to a region where the Bank is supporting a sustainability project.
Each year the award is centered on a distinct theme. The fourth theme of the Prix Pictet is Power, a theme with enormous breadth, embracing contradiction and paradox in equal measure that has uncovered images and issues that are both awe-inspiring and disturbing.
Professor Sir David King, Chairman of the Prix Pictet Jury, commenting on the Shortlist, said:
First, I would like to congratulate all the shortlisted artists. But I would also like to thank all of the nominated artists who submitted their work for this cycle of the Prix Pictet. The quality of the material under review made the judging process an immensely challenging but richly rewarding experience. It is a measure of the volume and variety of first-rate photography offered to our judges that we took a considerable time to arrive at the shortlist. Inevitably there are a great many images and compelling sustainability stories that we have not been able to include on the shortlist. When the overall quality of the submissions is considered, the achievement of the twelve shortlisted artists is all the more remarkable.