Kathrina Fricke | Droben | 5 – 21 May 2011

This award aims to promote a cultural dialogue between Spain and Germany in the field of fine art photography. For this purpose, students from the most prestigious schools of photography in Germany were invited to participate. Three finalists were chosen to exhibit their projects at the Goethe-Institut Madrid, and out of those a winner was picked who is presently developing a specific project during a one-month residency in Madrid. Finally, the award also includes the acquisition of an artwork by the Goethe Foundation. The members of the jury were Josef Brem (Goethe Foundation), Juan Curto (camara oscura), Leonhard Emmerling (Goethe Institut), and Inka Graeve Ingelmann (Pinakotek der Moderne München).

The project “Up There” developed by Katharina Fricke analyses the influence that each country exerts over the rest of the world and which is measured by its economic strength, population, surface in squared kilometres, or military power. Likewise the power of companies and individuals may be perceived by measurable means such as their purchasing power or their social class. Thanks to these objective variables, one might think they have a real approach to the relations of power. However, the representation of power itself performs a decisive role in the “projection” of the execution of power. Thus the previously ordered system becomes altered. Fricke asks herself questions such as: How is power incorporated into the scene? To what extent does the photographic manipulation transforms the message of the image? What are the signs of power that surround us directly?

Power is put on the stage and the photographer shows himself both passive and active. He decides on the creation of images, lighting and framing. The media broadcast the image, making it both banal and bigger. Power presents itself with prevalence over all else.

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