Luke Willis Thompson Wins the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018
Luke Willis Thompson Wins the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018

New Zealand artist Luke Willis Thompson has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 at London’s Photographers’ Gallery for autoportrait, a filmic portrait of Diamond Reynolds.

New Zealand artist Luke Willis Thompson has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 at London’s Photographers’ Gallery for autoportrait, a filmic portrait of Diamond Reynolds. 

He was announced as the 2018 winner of the prestigious £30,000 prize by BBC Front Row broadcaster and journalist, John Wilson, at a special award ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery, on Thursday 17th May. 

Thompson’s 35mm film autoportrait is a portrayal of Diamond Reynolds. In July 2016, Reynolds used Facebook Live to broadcast the moments immediately after the fatal shooting of her partner Philando Castile by a police officer during a traffic-stop in Minnesota, United States. Reynolds’ video circulated widely online and amassed over six million views. In November 2016, Thompson contacted Reynolds to invite her to collaborate on a project which would act as a ‘sister-image’ to her video broadcast, and break with her more publically consumed image. 

Silent apart from the whirr of a 35mm projector, the intensely focused installation presented at The Photographers’ Gallery comprises barely more than a single shot of Diamond in private mediation. Seemingly unaware of the camera - and by definition the audience – this is a startling presentation of a personal and autonomous moment. 

Luke Willis Thompson, autoportrait, 2017. Installation view, Chisenhale Gallery 2017. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and produced in partnership with Create. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate

Batia Suter, Parallel Encyclopedia #2, 2016. © Batia Suter. Courtesy of the artist

Mathieu Asselin, David Baker at his borther Terry’s grave, Edgemont. Cemetery, West Anniston, Alabama, 2012. © Mathieu Asselin. Courtesy of the artist

The winner was selected by the members of the 2018 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize jury, who included: Duncan Forbes, Curator and visiting Lecturer Westminster University, Gordon MacDonald, Curator and Editor; Penelope Umbrico, Artist; Anne-Marie Beckmann, Director, Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery as the non-voting chair.

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