Opening today at the V&A is the Prix Pictet 2014 Finalists Exhibition, combining works from this year’s eleven shortlisted photographers – all centred around the theme, ‘Consumption’. Fusing photography and sustainability, the competition itself has, since its inception in 2008, been channeling social, cultural and environmental ideas into the public fast lane.
Take this year’s subject – heck, we’re all consumers to some extent. Yet it’s the excessive side of this phenomenon that each of the photographers exhibiting here have aimed to flesh out: Boris Mikhailov’s ‘Tea, Coffee and Cappuccino’ is a stark portrait of the industrial Kharkiv circa turn-of-the-millennium Ukraine, while in contrast, Japan’s Motoyuki Daifu depicts an overloaded fridge and piles of toys and clothes in ‘Project Family’.
Boris Mikhailov both ‘Untitled’, 2000. Kharkiv, Ukraine
Then Mishka Henner’s aerial portraits of monstrous oil fields and feeding grounds in rural Texas highlight the entrenched supply-demand culture of the developed world. And this year’s winner, Michael Schmidt (announced at a ceremony last night), shoots on a similar tangent, filling his space with a grid of images shot in farms, shops and abattoirs.
If the subject has your ears pricked, head to the talk to be held tonight at the V&A, where artists, critics, curators and journalists will join to mull over the topic.
The Prix Pictet 2014 Finalists Exhibition is on show from today until 14th June at the Porter Gallery in the V&A , Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Prix Pictet 2014 In Conversation kicks off at 6.30pm tonight, in the V&A’s Seminar Room 3