Prix Elysée 2023
Exhibition: 30 Jun – 1 Oct 2023
Thu 29 Jun 18:00
Place de la Gare 17
Wed-Mon 10-18, Thu 10-20
Photo Elysée and Parmigiani Fleurier are pleased to announce the identity of the winner of the Prix Elysée 2023, the American photographer Debi Cornwall for her work entitled Model Citizens.
The work is in line with current events and is an important contribution that is timely, given the effect of fake news in our societies. Through her research, the artist questions the blurred line between truth and fiction. The project, which is both a political and intellectual commitment, points to the urgency and necessity of questioning photography as a proof. The impact of fake news is not limited to the United States – the artist is telling a local story that talks about global issues. We are convinced that with the Prix Elysée, Debi Cornwall will reach a new and wider audience and that the prize will help increase her visibility in Europe." – The members of the jury of the Prix Elysée 2023
The Prix Elysée endowment of CHF 80'000 will enable the artist to complete he research and publish a book.
Debi Cornwall is an American conceptual documentary artist who has focused on her career as an artist since 2014 after practicing for twelve years as a civil rights attorney.
Employing absurdity and dark humor, she excavates invisible systems by layering still and moving images with testimony and archival material. Her books Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay and Necessary Fictions (Radius Book, 2017 and 2020) have received numerous awards.
"Photographs can be evidence, yes, but evidence of what? My project, Model Citizens, examines the staging of reality and the performance of citizenship in the United States, a militarized country whose citizens cannot agree on what is true. In musems, exhibitions, trade fairs, non-military training sites including the 'U.S. Border Patrol Academy', and everyday life, I make photographs designed to invite inquiry: how are fictions deployed, commodified, and embraced, alternately preparing us for and distracting us from the realities of citizenship in a society undergoing perpetual violent crisis?"
- Debi Cornwall, text from Debi Cornwall – Crisis Actors: Performing Citizenship (Prix Elysée 2023).
Exhibition at Photo Elysée
Her work in progress Model Citizens will be exhibited at Photo Elysée from June 30 to October 1st, 2023.
The jury also awarded a special mention to Khashayar Javanmardi for his project See the Caspian to encourage him to continue his ambitious exploration of Iran.