Text and photo selection: Pygmalion Karatzas
Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, the Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s largest photography competition, recognising and rewarding the finest contemporary photography.
The competition is divided in three overall groups (professional – series, open – single image, and youth) and across 10 categories (architecture, landscape, conceptual, natural world, contemporary issues, portraiture, current affairs & news, sport, daily life and still life). This year 227,596 images were submitted from 183 countries, and were judged by an international panel of curators, editors, journalists and artistic directors.
Below we present a sample of the 8 shortlisted photographers in the category of architecture.
Julien Chatelin from France with the series ‘China West’ presents the radically redefined and rapidly changing topography of the country whilst displacing significant parts of its population. Semi-deserted landscapes carry an ambivalence suggesting at the same time promise and nothingness; a space revealing the process of radical change.
Zsolt Hlinka from Hungary with the series ‘Urban Symmetry’ presents buildings from the banks of River Danube, taken out of their surroundings and put against a homogeneous graphic space.
Alessandro Piredda from Italy with the series ‘Darkitectures’ presents the most significant Italian historic buildings, being partially revealed as a living memory out of the night.
Alissa Everett from USA with the series ‘Home Bleak Home’ presents the refugee camps of Northern Iraq where thousands of Yazidi people have been internally displaced. The monotonous functionality, layout and tones are a vivid contrast to this culture’s rich traditions and rituals, creating a dehumanising place.
Dongni from China with the series ‘Space & City’ presents a variety of urban forms freely deconstructed and reconstructed, similar to Goldbach’s conjecture, breaking and reordering the rules and feeling of the modern city.
Adi Bulboacă from Romania with the series ‘Silver Beach Hotel’ presents the brutalist summer resort off the shore of Lake Balaton in Hungary, build by architect Tillai ErnÅ between 1978 and 1983. The stark yet visually inviting anachronistic feeling of a vacant hotel was Adi’s intention with this retro series.
Marvin Systermans from Germany with the series ‘Faith, Custom, Home’ presents the structural change in places where the citizens of the city of Arnsberg and the surrounding area meet and gather. The result is an aesthetic investigation of places between tradition and modernity.
Diego Mayon from Italy with the series ‘Athens Studio’ presents the brothels in Athens Greece. Prostitution is legal and the implementation of the law stipulates that all brothels must have a permit. The spaces are discreetly called “Studios”, usually recognisable by the pink neon sign at the front door.
Full shortlisted series can be viewed here.
With a balanced collection of expressionistic, conceptual, documentary, humanistic, postmodern and representational perspectives; and subjects ranging from single building portraits to intimate suburban places, and from refugee camps to vast regions under industrialisation, the jury selection underlies an expansive and multi-perspectival spectrum of and for architectural photography.
The exhibition and announcement of winners will be held in Somerset House London between April 21 and May 7 2017.