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"Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize 2000"
2000-02-11 until 2000-03-25
Photographer's Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

The work of the artists shortlisted for The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize 2000 show photography to be at the very heart of current artistic concerns. Remembered traumas, the moment between life and death and strange sexuality; these are just a few of the themes expressed in this exhibition of some of the most significant contemporary artists working with photography. The Prize, which has now been increased to Ł15,000, celebrates contemporary photography on an international level with artists from theUSA, Australia, Czech Republic and UK.

Within the larger context of contemporary art, the five artists shortlisted for The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize 2000 are exemplary in that each has demonstrated the ways in which photography continues to be at the forefront of dealing with current artistic preoccupations. - Elizabeth Janus

Anna Gaskell (USA) and Tracey Moffatt (Australia) both use narrative as an important element in their work. Gaskell borrows narratives; her critically acclaimed series override was based on Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland. Her new body of work by proxy, which is on display for the first time in England as part of this exhibition, is based around the story of the infamous Genene Jones, a real-life pediatric nurse from Texas who was convicted of several murders in the early 1980s. Her nurse s white uniform is worn by girls of different ages, performing mysterious tasks in a green summer landscape with winter skies. Dark flowing hair, the mingled limbs of adolescent girls and strange angles infuse Gaskellís photographs with surreal suggestion and sexual tension.

Tracey Moffatts work references film, television and literary sources and she frequently collapses distinctions between documentary and fiction in her narrative series. Violence or its threat is a recurring theme in her work. Scarred for Life II, her most recent work, combines images and text to depict disturbing and formative episodes - a child tied up in the garden, verbal abuse and domestic violence. Also on display is Laudanum, a series of black and white photogravures set in a colonial mansion in the Victorian era. The unfolding story focuses on the relationship between an Anglo-Saxon mistress and her Asian servant girl. The psychosexual tensions between them become emblematic of relations of power, domination and colonialism.

Violence is more immediately apparent in the work Dead Horse, a large-scale video projection of a horse caught at the moment of death. Tim Macmillan (UK) used the Time-Slice Camera which he invented in the 1980s to produce this extraordinary work. The shock of the bullet entering the horse s skull leaves it suspended in mid-air, its legs in motion as though cantering. Dead Horse is an uncanny take on the great British tradition of animal portraiture. By using his Time-Slice Camera, Macmillan, who has also applied this technique to advertising work, freezes a moment in time and views it from numerous different angles, exploring the subject in a way which relates to photography, animation and sculpture. Jitka Hanzlovás (Czech Republic) series of photographs, Rokytník, documents her return to her childhood village in the Czech Republic after years of exile. Hanzlov· chronicles the community through landscapes, portraits and interiors. Her painterly compositions and vivid colours have a melancholic and symbolic effect which create an intimate record of a life remembered. Distance enables Hanzlová to look at her village in a new way and she frequently photographs the more unexpected activities of its inhabitants: two boys crawling along a wet road, someone asleep in a ditch, a young girl dancing with a goat, a prostrate pig which could be asleep or dead. Images from a further body of work, bewohner, are also included in the exhibition.

James Caseberes (USA) interior locations are in fact table-top architectural models made from Styrofoam and plaster. Phantasmatic spaces, his dream-like hallways, tunnels and cells are all devoid of people, yet hint at traces of human presence. His more recent works such as Flooded Hallway (1998), delve into the subterranean spaces of Roman baths and sewers filling the barren architectural spaces with combinations of light and water. Cool and intimate, his works are a meditation on loneliness and solitude, on public and private spaces.

The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize rewards the individual judged to have made the most significant contribution to the medium of photography over the past year. The Prize, which is now worth Ł15,000, was established in 1996 and is considered to be one of the leading international photography awards. Previous winners have been Richard Billingham (1997), Andreas Gursky (1998) and Rineke Dijkstra (1999).

The judges for this year are: Olivier Richon, Course Director of Photography, Royal College of Art; Michael Mack, independent curator; Hripsime Visser, Photography Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Val Williams, Curator, Hasselblad Center, Göteborg.

The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize is supported by The Times

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