Published on Friday, May 6th, 2011
The night before the long awaited marriage the red carpet was spread in London for the Sony World Photography Awards' Gala Ceremony, at the ODEON in Leicester Square. The highlight of the World Photography Festival has been, for the first time, celebrated in London.
The winner of the biggest event of the year celebrating international photography is Argentinean photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg (born in Buenos Aires, 1977).
One of the two artists selected in 2010 by curator Martin Parr for the fourth edition of the Brighton Photo Biennial, he now wins the Iris D'Or for his photographic series entitled High Tide: a portfolio of images documenting indigenous islanders that live and work around the Paraná River Delta, in Argentina.
Chaskielberg spent two years immersing himself in the communities' daily lives and taking photographs of precisely staged scenes.
These pictures reflect the immediacy and deepness of his contemporary photographic technique, and show to the public unforeseen glimpses of the community's life through radically luminous images, revealing the documentary side of Chaskielberg’s past professional experience. He himself affirms: "Using photography, I have been able to present another version of the Paraná river and its community which has been photographically ignored throughout the years." He intends to work "on the border of reality, creating fictional scenarios with real people and situations, trying to push the limits of documentary photography, using technical processes to transform the natural perception of light, colours and spaces." For the realization of these astounding images he used special focal lengths and deep colours to generate
an hyper-realistic feel, a fantastic surreal atmosphere.
Spending a long period getting to know the people, their way of life and their life space he eventually becomes part of the community one of them. The chairman of this year's Board of Jury, art critic Francis Hodgson, says: "These carefully directed pictures tell solid truths – about toil and community and marginal survival – in a splendidly allusive way." Chaskielberg is now Photographer of the Year, however he began shooting for local newspapers when he was just 18, before moving to documentaries and after receiving a degree from the National Film Institute in Argentina. For the 2011 edition of the Iris D'Or more than 105.000 images submitted by 162 countries have been selected. Among all Alejandro has been chosen as winner by a jury of 12 experts, winning $25.000 worth of new camera equipment and joining previous Iris d'Or winners David Zimmerman, Vanessa Winship and Tommaso Ausili as a member of the World Photography Academy. During the ceremony other artists have also been awarded: Chan Kwok Hung, a 37 Hong Kong jeweller and self-taught photographer, who has been named overall winner in the amateur categories (free-for-all section of the competition), picking up $ 5.000 as Open Photographer of the Year, for his dramatic picture entitled Buffalo Race which he took in Indonesia.
And Bruce Davidson, 77th most famous American photographer in 50 years, has been awarded with the recognition of "Outstanding contribution to Photography".What’s also remarkable is that, every year, the World Photography Organization collaborate with an international association for the Special Focus Award, requiring the use of photography as a means of increasing the consciousness on special issues of international significance. This year the main partnership has been realized in collaboration with Save the Children organization.
curated by arianna carcano