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Joan Fontcuberta Wins $143,000 Hasselblad Prize

By Holly Hughes


©Joan Fontcuberta
In his 1997 book Sputnik, Joan Fontcuberta cast himself as the ill-fated cosmonaut Ivan Istochnikov.
 

Catalan photographer Joan Fontcuberta has won the 2013 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. The award comes with a 110,000 Euro (approximately $143,000 US) prize, an exhibition at the Hasselblad Center at the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden in October and a new book of Fontcuberta's work, to be published by Mack. The award was delivered at a ceremony in Barcelona on March 7.
http://www.hasselbladfoundation.org/hasselbladspristagare-2013/

In its citation accompanying the award, the Hasselblad Foundation praised Fontcuberta's "30-year achievement of constantly investigating and questioning the photographic medium." A prolific writer, curator and teacher, Fontcuberta has used photography to create witty fictions that playfully undermine the trustworthiness of photography. His 1997 book Sputnik, for example, is an elaborate documentation of the entirely fictional journey of a Soviet cosmonaut and his space-suit clad dog, which, in Fontcuberta's fictional account, had been deleted from history books by Soviet authorities because both space travelers died mysteriously. In Landscapes Without Memory (published by Aperture in 2005), he created what appear to be lush landscapes but were made by scanning and blending landscapes by artists like Henri Rousseau and Cezanne using geographic mapping software.

Past winners of the Hasselblad Prize include Paul Graham, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lee Friedlander, Robert Adams, Graciela Iturbide and William Eggleston. This year's prize winner was chosen by a committee chaired by Ute Eskildsen of the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany. Other members of the committee were Thomas Joshua Cooper, professor at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow; Marcel Feil, deputy director at Foam in Amsterdam; and Agnès Sire, director of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris.


Related Article:
Paul Graham Wins $150K Hasselblad Award

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