© John Stezaker

This interesting article gives a good idea of the pros and cons arguments for awarding him the prize.

© Pieter Hugo, Abdulai Yahaya, Agbogbloshie Market, Accra, 2010, from the book Permanent Error

Having visited the exhibition showcasing all four nominees, my very own favourite was Pieter Hugo. This is his own website. I liked the aesthetics of his photographs, with the whiteness of fumes in the background, and his depiction of a paradoxically very populated no man’s land. His work is documentary, and his subject is fascinating, moving, and metaphorically quite rich. I am currently really interested in this tension between documentary work (putting in front of people’s eyes images of things they don’t know, and thereby enhancing their knowledge of the world) and art (beautiful? useless?), and how the two mingle and fully support each other.

However, I understand the choice of Stezaker as winner, since he has been a long time without formal recognition. His work is fun and quirky. It’s totally out of date and basically out of this world, to me. But being founded on the processes of collecting, accumulating, observing this collection and re-using it, also makes it a subject of reflection for the viewer.


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