Hong Hao, “My Things No. 1” (2001-2002)
Back for its fifth go-round, the Prix Pictet has announced the eleven photographers shortlisted for the purse of 100,000 Swiss francs (approximately $110,000, at current exchange). The entry-by-nomination international photography competition sponsored by Swiss bank Pictet & Cie seeks to promote sustainability, and this year’s theme is consumption. Selected for the shortlist by a jury that includes previous winner Luc Delahaye, architect Wang Shu, curator Elisabeth Sussman, and Martin Roth, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, are: Adam Bartos, Motoyuki Daifu, Rineke Dijkstra, Hong Hao, Mishka Henner, Juan Fernando Herrán, Boris Mikhailov, Abraham Oghobase, Michael Schmidt, Allan Sekula (who passed away in August at the age of 62), and Laurie Simmons.
The portfolios of the shortlisted photographers tackle subjects ranging from the transformation of a shy Bosnian girl into a young Western woman (Dijkstra) and protests in signage-choked Lagos, Nigeria (Oghobase) disasters to “love dolls” (Simmons) and a visual diary of stuff (Hao). “Day by day, I put my daily consumed objects into a scanner piece by piece….After scanning the original objects, I’ll save them in digital forms and categorize these digital files into different folders in my PC, in order to make a collage of them later on,” notes Beijing-based Hao in his artist’s statement. “This task, like yogi’s daily practice, has become a habit in my day-to-day life as well as a tool to observe the human condition in contemporary consumer society.” The work of the shortlisted photographers will be brought together for an exhibition set to open at the V&A in May 2014. Previous Prix Pictet winners include Mitch Epstein, Nadav Kander, and Benoit Aquin.