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Great little piece by Sean O’Hagan in the Grauniad talking about whether the Deutsche Borse comp is too conceptual.

Typical comment:

“I’m a totally useless photographer. Crap is my basic level but on the standard of photography I’ve seen in the Borse prize, I think I really ought to have been nominated. My crap photos far outcrap the boring fare on display here. If I was a photographer I would be really depressed by this short list, as they do photography no favours.”

More articles from David White

  • iamnotasuperstarphotogrpher

    Brilliant Sean O’Hagan. You called it perfectly and the Photographers Gallery strikes again.

    For all those who have been watching FIFA making decisions without any transparency, look at the anger in the English public re: 2018 and USA re: 2022. That anger must be worse if you were part of the Bid Team hearing that your bid was “technically perfect” and “amazing” to your face whilst then seeing others get the decisions for dubious reasons. Imagine the anger of suspecting that the dice was loaded towards those inside compared to those outside?

    “Play the game our way an do not criticise us” is the message from FIFA when they say media criticism of corruption will punish us. Do any of you shooters sit in every portfolio review where some agency is paid €€€€’s to say “keep going, your work is great” feel that is there is a point? And imagine the anger of those who pay to submit in photo competitions or every time a grant is given or a prize awarded.

    How many who have gone to a portfolio review and got into an agency?

    Imagine this even – that you are a photojournalist from the developing world, showing a world view that those in the establishment from the developed world that does not conform to their idea of how the world should be reported. What is the point?

    Imagine how that must feel for them, struggling for their passion just to be accepted when the agency/editorial/curatorial ideology is ever present in an industry totally disconnected from public opinion as they protect themselves from that level of scrutiny to burst their continuously shrinking bubble?

    The point is the internet is going to bust all these structures and democratise information and the distribution of work and devalue discretionary editorial genius thus promoting the publicly popular based on merit. How exciting is THAT!!!

    Well done Sean O’Hagan for questioning the decision making process, responding to the message from not only from the public who literally do not buy into their vision (hence the need for large public funds instead of income to stay alive) but highly respected photographers like Chris Steele Perkins:-

    http://www.duckrabbit.info/2010/06/a-larger-corpse-does-not-stop-rotting-chris-steele-perkins-on-the-photographers-gallery/

    • Iamnotasuperstarphotographer

      My grammar is so very bad!

      Imagine this even – that you are a photojournalist from the developing world, trying to show a world view to those in the establishment from the developed world that does not conform to their idea of how the world should be reported.

  • andrew

    I think the Deutsche Börse prize has consistently showcased strong work, in stark contrast to, say, the entirely non-conceptual Smith Award, which in recent years has dredged the most dismal depths of faux-concerned photographer cliche.