Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography The Israel Museum, Jerusalem


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. This new prize was created by the Shpilman family and the Shpilman Institute for Photography together with the Israel Museum, in recognition of photography as a leading contemporary cultural medium, and 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 candidates are artists working with photography, or photographers working in or around the art-world, whose most recent or in-progress work relates to the given theme. This year, we invite submission of projects relevant to the broad theme "Localities". Candidates are invited to submit their application after being nominated by art professionals appointed by the IMJ.

Localities today are dispersed, re-appropriated or ephemeral. The concept of locality turns central when a specific place is tied to certain people and a condition of belonging occurs, but then is challenged by adjacent identities, and therefore the plural 'localities' is unavoidable. Under globalized economic and communication systems, the possibility for a stable identification with 'locus' requires imaginative interpretations, hence its important role in the various contexts of contemporary art. The use of cameras, in particular, may link civil and artistic expressions to frames of spatial identification, beyond the boundaries of the nation-state, the conventions of hometown or homeland, or even the geographies of continents. Photographic art-practices may capture what makes a locality, may intervene in between localities or wander between them, as if the lens is never place-bound. The term 'localities' invites both documentary and fictional interpretations, either in congruence with the artist's point of departure or only with his or her point of view. Moreover, it invites artists who wish to correspond with the changing status of artists' particular origin in the politics of contemporary photography.