Nikolai Bakharev’s ambiguous images of Russian bathers on public beaches in the 80s and 90s, at a time when photographs of nudity were forbidden, play on the tension between acceptable and unacceptable imagery, public and private realms. In the work of Zanele Muholi, the personal and political are also interwoven in her tender, unflinching portraits and testimonies of the South African LGBTI community.
South Africa further provides a location and point of political departure in the work of Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse. Their collaborative publication presents a, ‘photo/graphic’ album of images and text which uncover the history of a once elite, now abandoned high-rise apartment block in Johannesburg. Finally, Viviane Sassen’s sculptural, abstracted, darkly sensual images continue to effect the blurring of genres, which characterize her work and position her as a leading force in contemporary art photography.
This year's judges are Chris Boot, Executive Director, Aperture Foundation; Rineke Dijkstra, Artist;Peter Gorschlüter, Deputy Director, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst and Anne Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse.
The winner will be announced at a special award ceremony held at The Photographers’ Gallery on 28 May 2015.