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

2018 Winner

Shpilman Photography Prize Awarded to Alison Rossiter

Servet Kocyigit Wins the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography 2016
Alison Rossiter wins the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography 2018
© Photo: Michelle Kloehn

Out of 66 artists nominated by art professionals from 38 different institutions around the world, the SIPEP2018 Committee has selected the American artist Alison Rossiter as the SIPEP2018 winner and awardee of the $40,000 prize.

Mentions of Honor were also given to: Rafał Milach (Poland), Noémie Goudal (France), Dor Guez (Israel), and Ivan Boccara (Morocco). The Prize was dedicated this year to the idea of 'The Last Photograph,' exploring the place of actual photographs in our 'virtual' age and the changing roles of cameras as transmitters of immediate – yet never truly 'live' – information.

Rossiter was born in 1953 in Jackson, Mississippi, and lives and works in New York. A trained photographer, she worked as a photography-conservator for several decades and began making camera-less photographic prints in the late 1990s. Her delicate and concentrated work is based on experimentation with expired photographic paper from specific years and places of origin. Rossiter traces these obsolete materials, giving them new life in the darkroom and creating a coherent and original language of minimalist, abstract photography that has recently gained international acclaim.

SIPEP2018 committee selected Rossiter due to her work's originality and candor in both artistic practice and conceptual framework; her ability to find a new place for analog image-making in our digital era; her critical thinking about the material history of the photographic medium as an alternative global history; her commitment to the dire questions of the conditions of photography and its physical relation to the human body; and her uncompromising aesthetics, building a remarkably rich and continually evolving syntax within a few rigid coordinates.

The jury members of SIPEP2018 were: Celina Lunsford, Artistic Director of Fotografie Forum Frankfurt; Karolina Lewandowska, Photography Curator at Centre Pompidou; Falma Fshazi, former General Director of COD Art Center in Tirana; Vardit Gross, Director of ArtPort Residency Program in Tel Aviv; and Dr. Noam Gal, Curator and Head of the Department of Photography, 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 $ 40,000, is awarded once every two years based on the review and decision of an international jury comprised of five acclaimed professionals.