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The Photoforum Prize is one of the few photography prizes in Switzerland with no limits on nationality, age or career stage, and no imposed themes. It therefore presents each year a great diversity of works, testifying to the richness of the contemporary photographic scene, and the diversity of uses of the image.

This year’s submissions reflect the artists’ concerns and their engagement in confronting major societal issues: the representation of certain communities that stand out from society, the migration and representation of migrant people, the ecological issues of the 21st century and the emotional responses they generate, family ties and parenthood, in particular. Some proposals examine, in another register, the performative and experimental potential of the photographic image and its ability to create a relation to the world through fiction.

The Prix Photoforum 2019, endowed with CHF 5,000, was awarded to Christelle Boulé (*1984). Her project Through the Glass is part of her long-term work around perfume and the translation of olfactory experiences into images. For this project, she creates analog colour photograms from a collection of perfume bottles that she calls her “salon des refusés”. They are perfumes that their owners no longer want, because they remind them of a former lover, because they have become obsolete, because they no longer correspond to the personality of their owner, for instance. These stories are recorded and stored with the vials, and accompany the images.

With Guillaume Baeriswyl, Christelle Boulé, Olga Bushkova, Jeanne Chevalier, Ludmila Claude, Charles Frôté, Peter Hauser, Pierre-Kastriot Jashari, Hugo Leos, Jonathan Levy, Laura Morier-Genoud, Jessie Schaer, Małgorzata Stankiewicz.

Image © Christelle Boulé

Jonathan Levy, Unwanted Utopia, 2019

Laura Morier-Genoud, Between the Cat’s Paws, 2019

Olga Bushkova, How I tried to convince my husband to have children, 2018

Ludmila Claude, Hadrien, Les Guerriers de l’Arc-en-ciel, 2018

Jeanne Chevalier, Ne demandez pas pourquoi, en amour il n’y a pas de parce que, 2019

Hugo Leos, Khaled, Going back and forth, 2019

Małgorzata Stankiewicz, Untitled (2017 Was California’s Largest And Most Destructive Fire Season on Record), 2018

Guillaume Baeriswyl, Horizon spéculatif, 2019

Peter Hauser, Angst, 2019

Pierre-Kastriot Jashari, Flamur, Bonu Burrë !, 2016–2018

Jessie Schaer, Perception, du vide à la forme, 2019

Charles Frôté, Searching for Lemons, 2019