French photographer Valérie Belin, who lives and works in Paris, has won the Prix Pictet. The SFr100,000 award – presented at a ceremony in her home city – showcases “leading photographers’ contributions to the debate about the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today” and this year’s theme was Disorder.
Prix Pictet prize 2015: shortlist captures theme of disorder – in pictures
Belin was a surprising winner from a strong shortlist. The art-photographer was nominated for her series Still Life 2014, in which she arranged cheap consumer items in elaborate compositions that echo classical vanitas and memento mori paintings.
“These still lifes offer a jarring commentary on the effects of our obsession with cheap objects,” she said, “for not only is their material – plastic – emblematic of the wasteful use of raw materials, but it also represents a grotesque kind of immortality because of its non-biodegradable nature. That immortality, one could say, is slowly killing the planet.”
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