Luc Delahaye Awarded $106K Prix Pictet

By Conor Risch

© Luc Delahaye, Prix Pictet Ltd, Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels
"132nd Ordinary Meeting of the Conference, September 15, 2004, OPEC headquarters, Vienna, Austria," from "Various Works 2008-2011."

French photojournalist-turned-artist Luc Delahaye has won the fourth Prix Pictet, the organization announced in a ceremony last night, October 9, at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The theme of this year’s prize was “Power.”

Founded by Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie in 2008, the Prix Pictet is awarded to photographers whose work engages with themes of sustainability.

180 experts from around the world nominated 673 artists for the prize. From those the jury selected 12 shortlisted artists, all of whom will be included in an exhibition opening tomorrow, October 10, at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The exhibition will also tour internationally.

Delahaye submitted a portfolio titled “Various works: 2008-2011,” about which he wrote in his artist’s statement:

“I try to put myself in situations that I feel have a certain relevance regarding what we call a shared destiny. The reality I’m interested in is that of people who struggle to act upon it as much as they are subject to it. I sometimes work where power presents itself as a spectacle, as an event produced for or with the media, and my pictures may then take an ironic undertone. But I photograph the ordinary man more often than the leader. I usually stay at the distance where the human relationships are visible, multiple, active and where they remain problematic. I’m interested in narration and in photography’s phenomenological hold on the real.”

Jury Chair Sir David King, the director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford, noted the "dramatic intensity and narrative power" of Delahaye's photographs in describing why he was selected from an impressive group of photographers on the shortlist for the award.

Among the other shortlisted photographers were Robert Adams, Rena Effendi, An-My Lê, who just received a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, and Joel Sternfeld.

Jacques de Saussure, Senior Partner of Pictet & Cie also awarded a $40,000 commission to Prix Pictet nominated photographer Simon Norfolk to travel to and photograph a region where the Bank is supporting a sustainability project. Norfolk will travel to Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, where Pictet & Cie are supporting the work of Medair, a Swiss-based humanitarian organization.

Previous Prix Pictet winners include Mitch Epstein, Nadav Kander and Benoit Aquin.

Related: Prix Pictet Announces 12 Photographers Shortlisted for Prize

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