Vevey International Photography Award 2015/2016 won by Christian Patterson (United States)

Following two days deliberating 100 applications pre-selected from amongst 600 projects encompassing almost 60 countries, the jury of international professionals chaired by the American artist James Casebere and comprising Julien Frydman, development director of the Luma Foundation, Arles (France), Marta Gili, director of Jeu de Paume, Paris (France), Kira Pollack, photo editor of TIME, New York (USA) and Ramón Reverté, editor-in-chief of RM publishers, (Mexico) granted the Vevey International Photography Award 2015/2016 to Christian Patterson (United States) for his project Gong Co. The winner receives a grant of 40’000CHF to realize this project in one year and present it at the Festival Images in September 2016.

The jury states:
“It is rare to see so many strong projects that require so much thoughtful discussion to reach consensus. The Vevey international photography award aims to help realize a project and bring it to life. Christian Patterson’s “Gong Co” fits perfectly this ambition with a multi-layered approach that challenges and broadens the more conventional uses of photography. In September 2016 this American photographer will build an immersive storefront installation in Vevey, including photographs, products and objects from a Mississippi grocery store that was recently shuttered.

Here, photography is no longer simply a representation of something else but one element among many others adding up to an immersive, interactive and multimedia experience that is unique. The project will raise questions about consumerism, immigration and social change in capitalist society. The tension between fiction and reality and collective and personal narrative is also explored through literary means to great emotional effect.

The jury is excited that this unique and iconic American project will be produced with a European prize and presented for the first time in Switzerland. The work will result in an inspired exhibition, film and book that expands our expectations and limits of what either one of these can be.”

Born in 1972 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Christian Patterson lives and works in New York. A selftaught photographer, his work became internationally renowned particularly following the success of Redheaded Peckerwood, a book published by MACK in 2011. He sums up his proposal for the Vevey International Photography Award quoting Andy Warhol: ‘All stores will become museums and all museums will become stores.’

The winner now has a year to achieve this project. It will be presented for the first time at the next Festival Images from 10th September to 2nd October 2016.

Watch the vidéo of the jury

Vevey International Photography Award 2015/2016 : Christian Patterson from Festival Images on Vimeo.

The jury also awarded the following prizes:

Broncolor Prize (light)
Adrian Sonderegger & Jojakim Cortis (Switzerland) for:
Ikons, a series of historical or famous photographic recreations that question this medium and its relationships with reality.

Leica Prize (Reportage)
Vittorio Mortarotti & Anush Hamzehian (Italy) for:
Eden, a series addressing the consequences on individual fates of war, occupation and exile.

Jury Special Prize
Waltraut Taenzler (Germany) for:
EYES ON BORDERs, artistic research that questions and reflects public surveillance systems, in particular at borders.

Festival Images Book Award
Laia Abril (Spain) for:
The WereWomen Legend, investigating Manuel(a) Blanco Romasanta, the first serial killer referenced in Spanish history.