The 2015 Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography will go to the Stuttgart, Germany-based artist Annette Kelm, the photo-magazine Camera Austria International announced today. The award is given biennially to an artist who has published work in the periodical and made a significant contribution to contemporary photography. (Kelm had her work in a 2008 issue and guest-edited an issue of the magazine this year.) This year’s jury included writer Kirsty Bell, photographer Joachim Koester (who won the award in 2013), Whitechapel Gallery curator Omar Kholeif, and Camera Austria International publisher Reinhard Braun.
Kelm picks up on the legacy of photographers like Christopher Williams and Roe Ethridge, whose work looks like advertising and explores what happens when art gets sold as an object. Shot solely using analog materials, Kelm’s high-contrast, hand-printed images typically combine art-historical genres, making her mix of objects and people even more mysterious. Kelm is best known in the United States for being included in the Museum of Modern Art’s 2013 “New Photography” show, but that may change next year, when she gets her first U.S. solo museum show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Kelm has also shown work at Andrew Kreps, in New York, and at Marc Foxx, in Los Angeles.
“While exploring the continued potential of the photographic medium, her work posits a sophisticated retort to the mainstream politics of representation and endless reproducibility heralded by the digital and post-digital era,” the jury said in a statement. “Instead of escape into nostalgic futurity, she gives us a rigorous and critical study of presentness.”