Images from the Sharp End
Cripps, Charlotte, The Independent (London, England)
The shortlist for photography's biggest award reveals obsessions with politics, nationality - and a famous pair of legs. Charlotte Cripps previews next year's Deutsche Borse prize
The celebrated rock star Alison Goldfrapp restaged the murder of Fanny Adams (whose name became a part of the language) in photographs taken by the UK photographer Anna Fox, one of this year's shortlist of four up for the prestigious international Deutsche Brse Photography Prize. It's the world's biggest general prize of its kind, and is worth 30,000.
The singer is lying amongst bluebells or under bushes in red stilettos, in colourful images which were shown this year in Fox's exhibition Cockroach Diary and Other Stories, for which she was nominated for the prize.
"Anna and I would get together at weekends and go off into to the countryside to take photos," explains Alison Goldfrapp. "We both lived near to where Fanny Adams was murdered in Hampshire in 1867 and were both fascinated by the story. It was like playing together, because we would take some clothes and improvise. I like Anna's brutal and honest photographic style. We were both trying to get a larger-than-life effect with colour and light."
Fox, 48, emerged from the British colour documentary movement of the 1980s to snap the strange and ordinary of British life in rural villages of southern England - even turning the lens on her mother's neat cupboards at home.
She's one of four photographers, two of whom are from the UK and three of whom are women, whittled down from a long-list of 90 from all over the world, who are deemed to have made the most significant contribution to photography in Europe over the last year, either by way of an exhibition or a publication. The winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony on 17 March 2010 at Lomdon's Photographers' Gallery.
The French photographer Sophie Ristelhueber, 60, has been using photography and, more recently, moving image, to document the scars that conflicts leave on the landscape.
Her 2005 West Bank shots reveal rocks and concrete blocks that cut off roads between villages and cities, reflecting Israel's long- standing policy of separation and the restriction of movement imposed on Palestinians.
She even flew over the Kuwait desert in a helicopter following the end of the first Gulf war to capture abstract shapes, as well as walking through this tricky terrain to take pictures of personal belongings, including a pair of shoes in the sand. Ristelhueber not only challenges the conventions of war reportage in the way she approaches her subjects, but also in the original way she installs and presents her photographs, which are often large-scale and applied directly onto walls.
The Belfast-born Donovan Wylie, 38, who is nominated for his exhibition MAZE 2007/8, at Belfast Exposed, investigates the psychology of architecture through the Maze prison. …