You have to choose between two portfolios of work for a competition. The competition is a global award for photography and sustainability and the theme this year is ‘Power’. Do you choose the portfolio by Daniel Beltra, Spill, that includes this image:
Or would you chose the series ‘When it Changed‘ by Joel Sternfeld which includes this image:
This is part of the challenge facing the jury of the Prix Pictet this year and I think the two images illustrate the scale of that challenge. The first image clearly has a visceral impact, an apparently pure environment is being despoiled as a result of humanity’s greed and incompetence and our attempts to constrain the damage look pathetic. The second image is more subtle, it draws our attention to the fact that change, if it comes, will be as a result of long, tiring, potentially boring meetings. You need to know some of the back story – who are the actors is this drama? And if you look for more than a few moments, you see that it is men discussing the future of mankind, the women listen or take notes.
So which would you choose and do you believe that photographs can effect change?
The 2012 Prix Pictet is announced on 10 October and the shortlisted work will be on show at the Saatchi Gallery from then until 28 October. The OCA is organising a study visit to the exhibition on Saturday 20 October, starting at 11am. We are still confirming the tutors who will be involved, but we are expecting a good student turnout. To book your free place email firstname.lastname@example.org