The Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
In 2010 The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (IMJ) proudly announced the creation of the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography, awarded every second year.
This new prize was initiated In recognition of photography as a leading contemporary cultural medium, by the Shpilman family and the Shpilman Institute for Photography together with the Israel Museum, with the joint objective of cultivating original work in the field of photography.
The prize, in the amount of $ 45,000, is awarded once every two years based on the review and decision of an international jury comprised of five acclaimed professionals.
One of the most generous prizes in the field of art photography worldwide, the Shpilman Prize aims to support contemporary photographic projects relating to questions of the current human condition and the world of art within it.
Eligible applicants are artists working with photography, or photographers working in or around the art-world, whose most recent or in-progress work relates to a given theme each award year. This year we invite submission of projects relevant to the broad theme 'Mirrorlike'.
Mirrorlike is a colloquial term which denotes proximate identity as well as the difficulty in making distinctions between original and copy. The term may reflect the elements of photography as a leading medium of expression in modernity, or the current ontological issues of photography through its functions in digital imaging and communication. Even if semantically adjacent, 'Mirror' and 'Like' are polaric terms in various visual cultures, from the inception of photography in mid-19th century Europe and the confusions with the 'real' it had generated (and still generates), up to the most common gesture of affirming spectatorship and reception in global social networks. While 'mirror' is historically tied to issues of artistic representation, 'Like' has recently turned into a collectible, transferring new meanings of self-imaging and self-appreciation. 'Mirror' and 'like', once bound, reciprocate as two sides of the looking glass, but at the same time, they together may mean that something is (only) apparently identical, or, alternatively, resembles a mirror. Therefore, this term can be widely and variedly associated with the field of vision and the status of the visual in the age of photography, up to its most advanced digital phases.
The Shpilman Prize is open to all regardless of race, nationality, religion or gender. Applicants should have already accomplished a significant body of work and acquired professional credentials. By accepting the prize, the winner will agree to collaborate with the Israel Museum in publishing the winning project in the form of an exhibition, a publication, an event or other appropriate forms.