Exhibition of the winners of the HSBC Prize, Cyrus Cornut and Aassmaa Akhannouch, at the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff until 26th June 2021
For the past 26 years, the HSBC Prize for Photography has been awarded annually to two young photographers, allowing them to publish their first book, work on new series and have their photos exhibited in galleries.
As a trained architect, it’s no surprise that Cyrus Cornut is fascinated by cities.
His photos of the province of Chongqing, a vast Chinese municipality about the size of Austria with over 32 million inhabitants, shows the country’s rampant urban spread, the lack of space in cities, the coldness of concrete and the paleness of so-called green spaces.
It’s not just the subject matter that impressed the judges though – Cornut’s old school use of traditional film and long exposures gives a feel of time suspended, with the weakly-yellow landscapes seeming even more artificial…
Washed out colours are also to be found in the series La maison qui m’habite encore… from this year’s other winner, Aassmaa Akhannouch. In 2013, after 15 years of working in marketing, she decided to change routes and studied at the Casablanca Photo Academy in order to perfect her skills and pursue her passion.
Her work evokes memories, and the winning series is based on ‘the red house’ where she grew up. Thirty years after the death of both her parents, the house remains empty. The photos show what remains – a few pieces of furniture, some old fruit trees, and, says Akhannouch, “my entire childhood”.
Books of these series are being published on 24th June by Atelier EXB (available here and here at amazon.fr for 30€ each), and the exhibition is open to all, for free, until 26th June. Make sure you go down and take a look!