June 27, 2018 - Musée de l'Elysée - The eight nominees of the third edition of the Prix Elysée
June 27, 2018

Musée de l'Elysée

Claude Baechtold, Laia Abril, Alinka Echeverria, Alexandra Catière, Luis Carlos Tovar, Mathieu Asselin, Nicola Lo Calzo. Not pictured: Gregory Halpern. © Mathilda Olmi.

The eight nominees of the third edition of the Prix Elysée

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The Musée de l’Elysée and Parmigiani Fleurier are pleased to announce the eight nominees of the Prix Elysée. They were chosen from 325 promising photographers from 49 nationalities from all over the world who participated in the third edition of the Prix Elysée. Over 5530 images were reviewed by the Musée de l’Elysée’s curators and the nominees were announced on Saturday June 23 at the Nuit des images in Lausanne.

The nominees have shared their intentions to work on a new project, which they will complete with the support of the Prix Elysée:

–Laia Abril (Spain, 1986). Laia Abril’s work focuses on the fragility of women’s rights and women’s liberation. Here, she addresses hysteria. By comparing the phenomenon of mass hysteria recorded in different historical periods, the artist shows us that they reflect the misogynist prejudices of their time.

–Mathieu Asselin (Venezuela, 1973). Mathieu Asselin sets out to give a photographic account of the history of the HIV epidemic, not just snatches of it, but on a global scale. He aims to trace a timeline that will follow the virus’ journey from ground zero to antiretroviral treatments via the struggles of those affected by the disease.

–Claude Baechtold (Switzerland, 1972). Seeking comfort after their parents’ death, Claude Baechtold and his brother search the family home from top to bottom—but they find nothing; no farewell note, not a shred of advice about facing life without them. Claude Baechtold looked in vain in their belongings for a letter they would have left him. It would have started with: "Everything will be ok."

–Alexandra Catière (Belarus, 1978). Acclaimed for her highly original approach to portrait photography, Alexandra Catière seeks to reveal all that is timeless and universal within us. In this new project, she aims to experiment with certain processes whilst at the same time returning to the origins of photography and the revelation that takes place in the darkroom.

–Alinka Echeverría (Mexico, 1981). Cyanotype is an old printing process that produces a cyan-blue photographic print, from which the word “blueprint” is derived. This word is also often used in political and economic discourse as well as science and psychology. Alinka Echeverría plans to use this process to create a series of iconic, scientific and personal images, retaining only the outlines or “trace lines”. The project aims to make us reflect on the impact of these pictures that, although not part of our own personal experience, seem to be engraved in the collective consciousness.

–Gregory Halpern (USA, 1977). Since Donald Trump’s election, Gregory Halpern’s relationship to the hypermasculinity in his country has become increasingly fraught. After an initial album (2009), he is ready to return to Omaha (Nebraska) to photograph the way in which boys are taught to become men.

–Nicola Lo Calzo (Italy, 1979). Nicola Lo Calzo, for whom the Mediterranean has never been a border, aims to reacquaint us with a migrant, Binidittu, the name given to the hermit Saint Benedict the Moor, the son of African slaves and born in Sicily in the 16th century. The project is a reflection on the treatment of migrants on the shores of the Mare nostrum, an allegory for our time.

–Luis Carlos Tovar (Colombia, 1979). The starting point for Luis Carlos Tovar’s work is a photograph, but, paradoxically, one that he has never seen. It is the “proof of life” of his father, taken hostage by the FARC in Columbia. Tovar has other traces to fill his father’s silences—the titles of the books he read in the jungle, the turquoise butterflies he kept between the books’ pages, and the Amazon landscapes he tries to recreate in his garden.

Next steps
The eight nominees receive a contribution of 5,000 CHF towards the initial presentation of their original project, as a carte blanche in the book of nominees, published in January 2019. Designated by a jury of experts during the Spring of 2019, the winner will be announced at the Nuit des images in June 2019 and will receive 80,000 CHF to produce his or her project and a book.

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