Peter Schulte spellbinded with masques
Peter Schulte of Hamburg is the overall winner of the 2013 Felix Schoeller Photo Award. Peter Schulte’s work first wowed the jury in the portrait category. They selected his portrait entitled “Ganz nah dran” (Really close up) as the category winner and then chose it from the five category winners as the overall winner of the Gold Award. The awards ceremony was held in Osnabrück‘s Cultural History Museum on 13 October 2013 and was followed by the official exhibition opening. Peter Schulte was delighted with his € 12,000 prize money. The category winners received a certificate and € 2,000. The emerging photographer award donated by photo retailer CALUMET – a € 5,000 voucher
– went to Silke Schwarz for her work “17 qm – Warten auf Heimat” (17 square metres – waiting for home).
The Felix Schoeller Photo Award, which had its debut this year, was a success from the very outset, as Dr Bernhard Klofat, CEO of the Felix Schoeller Group, stressed in his welcoming speech to 120 invited guests: over 1,300 entries from 26 countries were received. Dr Klofat went on to explain why the Photo Award is so important for the company: “The burgeoning demand for photographic paper inspired Felix Hermann Maria Schoeller, the founder of our company, to buy a paper mill in Burg Gretesch near Osnabrück in 1895. He had the vision to see that there was a gap in the market for silver halide or photographic base paper and a belief that manufacturing it would be lucrative enough to warrant setting up a business. And he was right: photography, especially expressive professional photography in its many facets, is still a hugely exciting field and – as the work submitted for the Felix Schoeller Photo Awards demonstrates – it also has social relevance. The camera sees more than the human eye. And through the photographer’s creativity - which consists, on the one hand, of how they compose the image and, on the other hand, of being able to capture the right moment - photographs record moments for posterity.” Klofat announced that the next Felix Schoeller Photo Award will be in two years’ time and thanked those responsible in Osnabrück’s city authorities for their support for the exhibition, which, by popular demand, was extended to 12 January 2014.
Chair of the jury, Düsseldorf-based photographer Michael Dannenmann, confirmed that the award has set the bar high in terms of quality. The Competition Rules called for participants to submit at least three, but a maximum of five, photos per category, placing the focus on conceptual photography from the start. Dannenmann and the entire jury noted: “The entries often did not fit the classical definition of the categories. It was the conceptual context of each series of photos that made it possible to understand their classification.”
In his tribute to Peter Schulte, the winner of the Gold Award, Michael Dannenmann described his series of portraits as being carried off into a children’s world. "At first glance, it seems threatening and sinister. But then, as you look more closely, what is going on behind the masquerade begins to unfold. These are images that invite you to dream, images that take you out of your comfort zone. This is extraordinary work that is far removed from our current way of seeing things."
Silke Schwarz, a student at Berlin University of the Arts, won the emerging photographer award with her entry “17 qm – Warten auf Heimat”. “Silke Schwarz’s work gives us access to an issue that could not have greater topical relevance: asylum-seekers in the interim place they call home. A defining moment in their lives,” said Dannenmann, describing how the jury saw her work. After Silke Schwarz had received the award from Bernhard Klofat, Stefan Schreck, marketing director of international photo retailer Calumet, presented her with a voucher for €5,000, which she can spend in any Calumet branch in Germany.
Great pieces of work – and large formats to showcase them
The works of 30 photographic artists went on show in Osnabrück‘s Cultural History Museum from 13 October 2013 to 12 January 2014 in an exhibition entitled Winners & Nominees 2013 – Felix Schoeller Photo Award. In collaboration with the city of Osnabrück and the Cultural History Museum, the winners were displayed in large formats.