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Michael Bracewell

Michael Bracewell’s essay, ”Subject seeks object” appeared in the catalogue to accompany Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize, 6 February - 3 April 1999, held at the Photographers’ Gallery,London. The artists in the exhibition were Augusto Alves da Silva, Rineke Dijkstra, Alex Hartley, Yinka Shonibare and Paul M Smith.

From Bracewell’s essay: “A foppishly dressed black man takes his place among a group of white Victorian aristocrats; a photograph of a tower block is obscured beneath the glass of its casing; a self-conscious young woman in a bathing costume strains for the ease of self-assurance; a stretch of rural road appears to recede in either direction, but to lead nowhere; a squad of aggressive young men plays up their drunken hi-jinks for the camera, singularly featured in a collective of confrontational laddism.

This is a list of some of the subjects which the five artists and photographers shortlisted for the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize 1999 have presented in their work. They have chosen to create these photographic images in a variety of formats, and can be seen to embrace, in some instances, both the use of self-portraiture as it might be found in performance art, and the ambient or sculptural effects of an installation.

Consequently, as you look at their work, it quickly becomes clear that the whole idea of photography has engaged with the blurring of artistic boundaries, of format, framing and context, in a way which enables the photographer to explore the potential of their medium. Thus they describe a new territory for our understanding of photography, which is founded as much on the way that we look at photographs, as on the way they are made and presented.”

Related items

click to show details of Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize

»  Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1999