British artist wins £30K Deutsche Börse prize

May 29, 2015

Ponte City from Yeoville Ridge,
from the series Ponte City, 2008

© Mikhael Subotzky / Patrick Waterhouse

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize rewarded a photographer of any nationality who made a significant contribution, in exhibition or publication format, to photography in Europe between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014.

Waterhouse collaborated with Subotzky for an ‘intimate and deeply evocative’ social portrait of a 1970’s Johannesburg apartment block that reportedly became a centre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing, and a symbol of urban decay.

The pair’s work also drew on architectural plans, plus archival and historical material about the building and community. Their project appeared in a publication called, Ponte City, last year.

Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse l Untitled #1, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008.
© Mikhael Subotzky / Patrick Waterhouse

Brett Rogers, chair of the judging panel, said: ‘The jury praised Subotzky and Waterhouse for introducing new ways of photographic storytelling and presentation in book form.

‘They have drawn together a rich and diverse array of archival and documentary approaches, to reveal, layer by layer, the complex stories concealed within one of Johannesburg’s most iconic buildings, Ponte.

‘This long-term, creatively ambitious project, serves as a compelling metaphor for South African society as it transitioned from Apartheid to post-Apartheid era and importantly explores the wider issues relating to the global migration of peoples today.’

Also shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015 were Russian photographer Nikolai Bakharev; Zanele Muholi (South Africa); and Viviane Sassen (Netherlands).

The winners were announced at The Photographers’ Gallery in London.

The winners’ images are show at The Photographers’ Gallery until 7 June.

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