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BMW Photo Award Leipzig 2024: Inaugural award by BMW and Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig. Margit Emmrich, Susanne Keichel and Stephan Takkides honoured.

The new BMW Photo Award Leipzig will support artists every two years who either have a biographical connection to Leipzig and the region or who consciously engage with the city and its surroundings in their artistic work. The prerequisite is work in the medium of photography or related visual media. The three winners are selected by a changing, international jury consisting of artists, curators, art academy professors and other experts.

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Munich/Leipzig. The new BMW Photo Award Leipzig will support artists every two years who either have a biographical connection to Leipzig and the region or who consciously engage with the city and its surroundings in their artistic work. The prerequisite is work in the medium of photography or related visual media. The three winners are selected by a changing, international jury consisting of artists, curators, art academy professors and other experts. Each jury member proposes three positions. The prize is endowed with €5,000 per artist and is linked to a joint exhibition including a catalogue at the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig (MdbK). The BMW Niederlassung Leipzig and the BMW Group have regularly supported the MdbK with purchases and exhibitions since 2005.

BMW and the MdbK pursue several aims with the awarding of the prize. Firstly, it is about a general strengthening of Leipzig as a centre for photography and the photographers working there. Particularly young positions and those which, in the jury's view, have not yet been adequately recognised in public, should be highlighted. In addition, the award is an expression of the high value placed on photography at the MdbK and the museum's collaboration with BMW in this field, which has been ongoing for over 20 years. Finally, the exhibition of the prize-winning works is intended to make an artistic contribution to social self-assurance about the history and present of the city and possible perspectives for its future.

The award ceremony will take place on 6 June 2024 as part of the opening of the exhibition (7. June - 15. September 2024).

The jury
The jury for the first BMW Photo Award Leipzig met at the MdbK in early December. Its members consisted of Ines Schaber (Professor of Photography and Media, Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig), Inka Schube (Curator of Photography, Sprengel Museum Hannover), Andrzej Steinbach (artist, Berlin), Christoph Wiesner (Director of Rencontres de la Photographie d'Arles) and Philipp Freytag (Curator of Photography and Media Art at the MdbK). The three prize winners were chosen by the jury with a unanimous vote.

Award winner 2024
Margit Emmrich:
Born in Chemnitz in 1949, grew up in Leipzig | 1969-1974 studied photography at the HGB under Heinz Föppel and Joachim Jansong | 1976-1978 trainee at the HGB | 1974-1979 worked as a freelancer in Leipzig and Berlin | 1979-1980 political imprisonment | 1981-1987 employed in Freiburg/Breisgau | 1987-1994 family work in Erlangen | 1994 returned to Leipzig and has worked there as a freelancer ever since.

"Margit Emmrich's work has a considerable significance for the visual memory of the city of Leipzig as well as East Germany and united Germany as a whole. This applies to the social conditions and developmental psychological circumstances she has documented as well as to her photographic approach. Her humanistic social documentary photography combines high artistic standards with concrete sociological questions. This makes her exemplary for the tradition of Leipzig photography in the last third of the 20th century." (Philipp Freytag, curator for photography and media art at the MdbK)

Susanne Keichel: Born 1981 in Dresden | 2000-2003 training as a photographer with Stefan Thurmann in Hamburg | 2003-2005 freelance photo assistant in Hamburg | 2006/2007 guest student in Jitka Hanzlová's seminar at the HFBK Hamburg | 2013 diploma in photography at the HGB | 2016 master student graduate with Tina Bara. Susanne Keichel lives and works in Dresden.

"In her work, Susanne Keichel deals with questions of racism, classism and social justice. In doing so, she creates pictorial spaces that question stereotypes and test visualisation." (Ines Schaber, Professor of Photography and Media, Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig)

Stephan Takkides: Born 1981 in Canterbury | 1999-2000 Foundation Studies, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London | 2002 Universität der Künste Berlin | 2000-2003 BA, Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts, London | 2010-2012 MFA, Transart Institute, University of Plymouth, USA/UK | 2018-2021 Master student at the HGB with Joachim Brohm. Stephan Takkides lives and works in Leipzig.

"Stephan Takkides is a British-Cypriot photographer and artist who has been naturalised in Germany. In his multi-channel video work 'Naturalization', he explores the relationship between nature and national identity, interweaving different perspectives and narrative strands." (Ines Schaber, Professor of Photography and Media, Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig)

The BMW Group and the MdbK
The BMW Group and the MdbK have been linked by a successful partnership for 18 years. The foundation was laid in 2005 with the donation of the comprehensive photo collection 'AutoWerke: European and American Photography' with over 70 works - including works by Thomas Demand, Thomas Struth, Rineke Dijkstra and Candida Höfer - on the occasion of the opening of the new museum building and the commissioning of the BMW plant in Leipzig. Since then, the BMW Niederlassung Leipzig and the BMW Group have regularly supported the museum with acquisitions and exhibitions. In 2023, the two partners have agreed on a long-term collaboration with the aim of BMW supporting the MdbK's initiatives for contemporary photography. In addition to the award, this includes the support of exhibitions - such as the current Evelyn Richter. A Photographer's Life - and purchases.

The BMW Group's Cultural Engagement, with exclusive updates and deeper insights into its global initiatives can be followed on Instagram at @BMWGroupCulture.

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