As part of the photography triennial RAY 2015, the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst
presents, at the MMK 3, the exhibition of the finalists for the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize: Nikolai Bakharev, Zanele Muholi, Viviane Sassen and, with a joint project, the artists Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.
This years choice of finalists reflects the diversity of approaches in the field of photography, ranging from video works via social documentary pictures to portrait photography. Nikolai Bakharevs work focuses on the tensions between the public and private spheres. His photographs of Russian bathers on public beaches in the 1980s and 1990s allude to the hypocrisy of official policy, making reference to what images were or were not permitted in the former USSR. In Zanele Muholis portraits and in her photographs of members of the LGBTI community in South Africa there is a blurring of the private and the political. Political and social transformations in South Africa are also at the heart of the work by Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse. In their joint work they present an album of pictorial and textual material recording the history of a high-rise building in Johannesburg, once exclusive and still iconic but now run-down and largely occupied by squatters. The other finalist represented in the MMK 3 exhibition is the contemporary photographic artist Viviane Sassen, whose images play with the boundaries of photography and sculpture.
The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is an annual award, established by the Photographers' Gallery in London in 1997 and since 2005 presented each year in association with the Deutsche Börse Group. The prize, worth £30,000, is awarded to a contemporary photographic artist who in the preceding year made a significant contribution to photography in the form of an exhibition or publication in Europe, and it is regarded as one of the most prestigious international art prizes. This years judges are Chris Boot, Executive Director of the Aperture Foundation; the artist Rineke Dijkstra; Peter Gorschlüter, Deputy Director of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, and Anne Marie Beckmann, Curator of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse. The winner was announced at an award ceremony held at the Photographers' Gallery on 28 May 2015.