LAUSANNE.- The Musée de lElysée
and Parmigiani Fleurier announced the eight nominees of the Prix Elysée: Laia Abril, Mathieu Asselin, Claude Baechtold, Alexandra Catière, Alinka Echeverría, Gregory Halpern, Nicola Lo Calzo and Luis Carlos Tovar. 325 promising photographers from 49 nationalities from all over the world participated in the third edition of the Prix Elysée. Over 5530 images were reviewed by the Musée de lElysées curators.
The projects of the eight nominees
The nominees have shared their intentions to work on a new project, which they intend to complete with the support of the Prix Elysée:
Laia Abril (Spain, born in 1986 in Barcelona)
Laia Abrils work focuses on the fragility of womens rights and womens liberation. Here, she addresses hysteria. Identified in ancient times, hysteria, the queen of neurosis at the center of 19th century medical controversies is still, today, associated with women. By comparing the phenomenon of mass hysteria recorded in different historical periods, the artist shows us that they reflect the misogynist prejudices of their time.
Mathieu Asselin (Venezuela, born in 1973 in Aix-en-Provence, lives and works in the USA and in France)
Mathieu Asselin sets out to give a photographic account of the history of HIV/AIDS' epidemic, not just snatches of it, but on a global scale. He aims to trace a timeline that will follow the virus journey from ground zero to antiretroviral treatments via the struggles of those affected by the disease. The author is currently working on HIVs transfers and mutations, but also on the representations and combats it has given rise to and that have profoundly marked contemporary history.
Claude Baechtold (Switzerland, born in 1972 in Lausanne, lives and works in France)
Seeking comfort after their parents death, Claude Baechtold and his brother search the family home from top to bottom but they find nothing; no farewell note, not a shred of advice about facing life without them. Claude Baechtold looked in vain in their belongings for a letter they would have left him. It would have started with: Everything will be ok.
Alexandra Catière (Belarus, born in 1978 in Minsk, lives and works in France)
Acclaimed for her highly original approach to portrait photography, Alexandra Catière seeks to reveal all that is timeless and universal within us. In the humanist tradition, her images capture sensations and atmospheres. In this new project, she aims to experiment with certain processes whilst at the same time returning to the origins of photography and the revelation that takes place in the darkroom.
Alinka Echeverría (Mexico, born in 1981, lives and works in the UK)
Cyanotype is an old printing process that produces a cyan-blue photographic print, from which the word blueprint is derived. Alinka Echeverría plans to use this process to create a series of images from iconic as well as scientific and family photographs, retaining only the outlines or trace lines. The project aims to make us reflect on the impact of these pictures that, although not part of our own personal experience, seem to be engraved in the collective consciousness.
Gregory Halpern (USA, born in 1977 in Buffalo, New York)
Since Donald Trumps election, Gregory Halperns relationship to the hypermasculinity in his country has become increasingly fraught. After an initial album (2009), he is ready to return to Omaha (Nebraska) to photograph the way in which boys are taught to become men. Omaha Sketchbook, a study of place, is also a reflection on power and violence, a meditation on the feeling of inadequacy, the uneasiness and fear experience by someone who was not raised to worship virility.
Nicola Lo Calzo (Italy, born in 1979 in Turin, lives and works in France)
Nicola Lo Calzo, for whom the Mediterranean has never been a border, aims to reacquaint us with a migrant, Binidittu, the name given to the hermit Saint Benedict the Moor, the son of African slaves and born in Sicily in the 16th century. Upon his death, the Afro-Sicilian friar became an icon. Canonized in 1807, he was the Catholic Churchs first black saint and was made Patron Saint of Palermo. Binidittu is a reflection on the treatment of migrants on the shores of the Mare Nostrum, an allegory for our time.
Luis Carlos Tovar (Colombia, born in 1979 in Bogota, lives and works in France)
The starting point for Luis Carlos Tovars work is a photograph, but, paradoxically, one that he has never seen. It is the proof of life of his father, taken hostage by the FARC in Columbia. Tovar has other traces to fill his fathers silences the titles of the books he read in the jungle, the turquoise butterflies he kept between the books pages, and the Amazon landscapes he tries to recreate in his garden. These enable him to imagine his fathers pain, but never to fully understand it.
The eight nominees receive a contribution of 5,000 CHF towards the initial presentation of their original project, as a carte blanche in the book of nominees, published in January 2019. Designated by a jury of experts during the Spring of 2019, the winner will be announced at the Nuit des images in June 2019 and will receive CHF 80,000 CHF to produce his or her project and a book.