The Somfy Photography Award 2020 is awarded to Stephan Keppel for his new work ‘Fall out’. The international jury chose his installation from new work by nine nominated photographers. Keppel photographed the graffiti and slogans spray-painted underneath the Vondelbridge in Amsterdam, which served as an atomic bomb shelter during the Cold War. Keppel used the images to create new graphic works of art.
Stephan Keppel received, on behalf of Somfy Netherlands, from the founder of this photography prize, Huub Koene, the Award and a check for € 15,000. The second prize (€ 5,000) went to Géraldine Jeanjean for her installation “Dehors”. The award ceremony took place in Rotterdam on 23 October.
“Fall Out is a monumental, nuanced and strong graphic interpretation of a bunker. With printing machines, Keppel creates a multi-layered world where surfaces, objects and structures from different periods of time come to life in the present. You can smell the bunker. A beautiful interpretation of the theme Gimme Shelter.”, the jury said. “Glass is given a symbolic meaning with great poetical force in Jeanjean’s pentatych Dehors. The work is an elegant visual play between inside and outside.”, according to the jury.
The exhibition Somfy Photography Award 2020 | Gimme Shelter, with work of the nine finalists, can be seen until December 6, 2020 in the Nederlands Fotomuseum.
The Somfy Photography Award is an original photography competition, now in its second edition. Nine shortlisted top photographers will create unique work based on the theme ‘Gimme shelter’ and compete for first and second place.
The Somfy Photography Award is an opportunity for professional photographers to create work on a specific subject, based on their own project proposals. They also have the chance to win a substantial cash prize and are able to present their work at important cultural venues in Paris, Rotterdam and Arles.
The Somfy Photography Award is grateful for the support of
the Nederlands Fotomuseum.
The Somfy Photography Award is a way for Somfy to emphasise the contribution it makes to people’s comfort and well-being in non-residential buildings such as schools, universities, hospitals, offices, airports, and railway stations, and to do this in a perceptive and insightful, inspiring and creative way.
The theme of the Somfy Photography Award 2020 is Gimme shelter. The Somfy Group makes use of invisible technology to ensure the well-being and comfort of building users. Somfy also ensures that these buildings use energy sustainably. Comfort, well-being and sustainability are the three most important qualities that Somfy realises in buildings. They are The Art of Somfy and the most important of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Gimme shelter is an overarching, all-embracing fundamental need for people and animals. It means protection, shelter, safety and comfort. Gimme shelter is manifested not only in buildings, schools, hospitals, factories and offices, in mansions and flats, but also in the cardboard box of the homeless person, the embrace of lovers, the mother who cherishes her child.
A selection committee of international photography experts will assess all of the submissions and project proposals to narrow the field down to a shortlist of nine finalists. These finalists will have the opportunity to develop new work on the theme. The works produced will be exhibited in the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.
Frits Gierstberg (Nederlands Fotomuseum) is a curator and the chair of the selection committee and jury. The other jury and selection committee members will also be renowned photographers and photography specialists.
After hanging, the work will be assessed by a jury of internationally renowned photography professionals. The winner will be presented with a €15,000 cash prize and the runner-up will receive €5,000. These prizes will be awarded during the private view at the Nederlands Fotomuseum.
All shortlisted photographers will be given €2,000 to cover production expenses. Somfy will cover the costs of presenting the photographs for exhibition, for example printing, enlarging and framing costs.
23 October 2020 – Stephan Keppel winner Somfy Photography Award 2020
8 November 2019 – Somfy Photography Award 2020 nominees announced
Roderik Henderson (NL)
Photographer Roderik Henderson (1964). Henderson writes in his short autobiography letter Chronology (October 2009): “From 1998 on, I roamed the American Southwest for years, together with my wife Tanja. Living in a beaten up jeep wagoneer and a small argosy travel trailer we explored the desert, searching for the lucidity of naked rock, burning sand and roaring silence. No thoughts, no dreams, no ambitions – only absolute, sublime nothingness. Salt flats and lava fields were what we called home.” Since January 2010 Roderik Henderson has left again with family – for an indefinite period – now on an existential and artistic quest in Chile. Winner 2010 World Press, Portraits, Stories, 1st prize
Short project motivation
Lives in Chili and portrays a single man who lives in an improvised house, just outside the desert city of Copiapo, a city in Northern Chile. Henderson is making an extensive series of 3D portraits in which it seems as if this man is the only person inhabiting this place, and where the streets seem just as desolate as the surrounding landscape. He plays with this social documentary style by photographing the man in 3D. The images can be seen with special glasses.
Géraldine Jeanjean (NL)
Dutch / French photographer living in Amsterdam. Works have been shown in group and solo exhibitions at the Fotomuseum Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Kunsthalle München, Stedelijk Museum, Kasseler Fotfrühling, Galerie Serieuze Zaken, Seelevel Gallery, Voies off Arles, in addition to being held in private and public collections. She has received numerous grands. Her monograph Aumont was selected as “Best Dutch Book Design”. Work has been featured by Volkskrant, NRC, Parool and various books and catalogs.
Short project motivation
Wants to show the difference between outside and inside, through a window, separated by glass. Inside it is safe, outside lies freedom. We actually do not want to lose freedom and the connection with the outside world, but we need security on the inside. Real freedom stays outside, where all the senses are stimulated. Glass is a compromise that Jeanjean portrays in various ways.
Stephan Keppel (NL)
Stephan Keppel (1973) is a visual artist/photographer. He studied at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague. Keppel’s photographic work is based on the peripheral phenomena of architecture, the suburb, and the interior and serves primarily for registration in an attempt to expose an inner structure, a logic. The photographic registration is then converted into new images via unconventional and experimental printing techniques. Aim is to create images that are so layered in silence that they become their own commentary in their clarity. This working method results in many exhibitions, books, book models, and unique poster editions.
Short project motivation
focuses on photographic and print-technical research into shelters in Amsterdam for which he goes underground. ‘Exposes’ public shelters that were provided during the Cold War for 5% of the population. The traces thereof can still be seen, indicated by large ‘S’ signs (shelter). In peacetime the shelters were used as storage space or pedestrian tunnel. By lifting a hatch he is hoping to discover public secrets.
Matthieu Litt (B)
Graphic designer, before completing his education in photography (Ecole des Arts Saint-Luc Liège), Matthieu Litt is mainly interested, in his practice and his approach, by the concept of distance and closeness, the means by which the tracks can be blurred, the markers between images coming from horizons or from radically different contexts. This gave him the opportunity, in just three years, to produce two first books highly noticed by the critics and amateurs, Horsehead Nebula first (with images from former Soviet republics), then Tidal Horizon, which brews images taken during an artist residency in Norway. Essentially using photography but without exclusivity, he’s contributing to a growing number of editorial projects.
Short project motivation
Explores a terrain that is called ‘Ry-Ponet’ (http://www.ryponet.be/), named after the small river that flows there. It is located in the metropolitan area of the Belgian city of Liège and covers an area of 350 hectares, five kilometers from the historic city center. It is an unplanned landscape park with hills and an unexpectedly large biodiversity. At the time of globalization, the green lung is a symbol of resistance, a place to breathe, to escape from city noise and pollution, a shelter for people and animals.
Antoinette Nausikaä (NL)
Growing up in a family of aerial photographers Antoinette Nausikaä learned about observing and zooming in and out on the world around her from an early age on.
Driven by a personal need for finding balance and stillness within a turbulent and rapidly changing world, Nausikaä explores the interconnectedness within our everyday environment. She poses questions such as; how does the human abstract relate to the natural organic? The mundane to the transcendent? Permanence to the impermanent? How to express the ineffable?.
During extended periods of time she observes places where culture and nature intertwine. By using photography, video, drawing and sculpture she analyzes and literally zooms in and out on her subjects. This way she aims to show that things are inextricably linked, influence each other and that there is no such thing as a single perspective on a subject.
Short project motivation
will use the River Seine near Paris as a workplace for a longer period of time. By observing and following this old river, she wants to find places where she can observe and collect material that expresses the (in)direct influence on the city and its inhabitants. In ancient cultures, people did not consider their rivers strictly geographically, as they do today. There is water everywhere, and it changes constantly. It includes all life and is endlessly looking for balance and harmony. In her project, Nausikaä wants to evoke the feeling of shelter and connection with nature that the Seine originally gave to the city of Paris in a visual way.
Martine Stig (NL)
Martine Stig (b. 1972, Nijmegen, lives and works in Amsterdam) Photography itself is the locus of my work. The voyeuristic act: photography (verb) and the autonomic product: photo (noun). Whilst using the medium I research it’s role in the perception of reality. I employ cliché - a box of tricks that evolved with the profession itself - to manipulate a viewers’ viewing experience. Cultural framing interests me and how visual truths proves to be obverse. Before studying at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Martine Stig studied Philosophy. She has had many solo and group exhibitions, has published various books, and has a teaching and research position at the Master Photography of the AKV St. Joost in Breda.
Short project motivation
researches photography and visibility in an economy that is manipulated out of people‘s sight. Seen by drones or satellites, photographed by Google’s Street View camera or recognized by facial recognition software; topics of visibility and invisibility are becoming more urgent. Stig places the "invisibility as a human right" at the center. What do machines see? How do computers see us, read us? Are they biased? Can we fool the machine? Does camouflage work? With photography as a starting point, with image recognition and facial recognition, she wants to give a poetic analysis of modern society and make us think about the idea of invisibility as a human right.
Dustin Thierry (NL)
Dustin (b.1985) Willemstad, Curaçao, lives and works in Amsterdam. The issues he addresses in his photos are often as personal as they are social: He’s fascinated by what drives people. As opinions and pictures fly around the world, he captures moments of stillness for reflection.
Thierry believes that every image comes into its own when given the time and attention it deserves. That’s why he tends to prefer traditional methods. Part of their incomparable beauty lie in the manual process of developing and printing, in which the slowing down of time plays a vital role. “I’m always happy to discuss collaborations, commissions, editorial work or cameras.” Feel free to get in touch – it’s good to talk.
Short project motivation
wants to photograph a variety of people in the Netherlands and on Curacao, both from his own generation (the ‘millennials’) and the next one (‘Generation Z’). Thierry is curious about their quest to find a safe place to live by moving to the Netherlands or by staying in Curacao. Where do they fit socially and in society, what family structures are they part of? He wants to delve deeper into the causes of the dichotomy between a growing group of young people who fall through the cracks of society, and those who are successful – who are often not mentioned, ‘Good news is no news.’ Thierry wants to go beyond classical portrait photography by focusing on the very personal stories.
Maarten Tromp (NL)
Maarten Tromp (1980, Amsterdam) is a visual artist that lives and works in Amsterdam. In his work – film, photography and installations – he reacts and reflects on the surveillance state, mass media and Dutch colonial history.
Tromp graduated at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (NL) in 2005.
His photographic essay made in the streets of Amsterdam East was published as the book ‘The neighbour, his ex and the owner of the launderette’ (2008).
His photographs and short films were exhibited at FOTODOK, Fotofestival Naarden and Addis Foto Fest, in the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, World Trade Center Amsterdam, Filmhuis Den Haag and Museum Hilversum.
Short project motivation
his interpretation of ‘Gimme Shelter’ will consists of black-and-white portraits of primates made in rescue centers in the Netherlands and Indonesia.
The portraits are made without showing the context of the rescue centers and emphasize the expression and attitude of the animals. The animals that are staying in the Netherlands have been intercepted during smuggling or were kept as test animals, pets, or circus animals. The series called Primates is a study of the photographic portrait. Will the pictures form a mirror, just like people portraits? What do they tell us about ourselves? And what do they tell us about the way we look at and treat these animals?
Jordi Ruiz Cirera
Jordi Ruiz Cirera (UK/Mex)
Jordi Ruiz Cirera is an independent documentary photographer and filmmaker from Barcelona, based in Mexico. Devoted to long-term projects, Jordi focuses on the effects of globalisation in small communities and how they are adapting to it, and, since relocating in Mexico City, on migration issues across the Americas.
He is a recipient of Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund and winner of global awards including the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Magnum’s 30 under 30, POYi, Lucie Awards, Magenta Flash Forward and the AOP’s Student Photographer of the Year. His work has been exhibited widely in galleries and at festivals, and belongs to a number of private collections. Jordi’s work has appeared in international publications that include The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian, Le Monde M and National Geographic’s Proof.
Short project motivation
Cirera photographs the effects of globalization on local farming communities in various locations in South America. With his ongoing photo project, he wants to show how the almost elusive economic and financial forces – ‘the giant’ – that control the food production in the world at local level sometimes have destructive effects. Cirera focuses on land grabbing, forced migration, exploitation by transnational companies, and damage to nature and environment. For ‘Gimme Shelter’ he focuses on the role of the consumer in this issue. Along the way he realizes that ‘the giant’ is elusive and pervasive. Ultimately we are all part of it.
Somfy is a publicly listed company with branches in more than sixty countries worldwide. Somfy develops, manufactures, installs, and maintains unique equipment for a range of purposes including light transmission in buildings. This technique is unique and ubiquitous; its effects are obvious but often invisible. To bring it into sharper focus, talented photographers working in Europe were invited to create a photographic portrayal of what Somfy creates, based on their own individual project motivations around the theme of ‘Gimme shelter’.
Exhibition and award ceremony
The Somfy Photography Award (SPA) 2020 with new work by the nine nominated photographers will be exhibited in Rotterdam. The candidates are currently making new photos based on: ‘Gimme Shelter’. The work they are creating for the Award will be send in and brought together in a group exhibition at the Nederlands Fotomuseum from 2 October. From this collection of work, a jury of international experts will choose a first and second place winner. The prizes are fifteen thousand and five thousand euros respectively. A budget of two thousand euros per photographer is available for the creation of their new work. The winners will be announced at the Nederlands Fotomuseum on 23 October 2020.
Announcing the winners
On 23 October 2020, a jury of international experts consisting of Frits Gierstberg (chairman), Menno Kooistra (architect, Elephant), Dana Lixenberg (photographer), Thomas Seelig (curator/head of the photo collection of Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany) and Stephan Vanfleteren (photographer) will announce the first and second prize winners.
This will take place in the Nederlands Fotomuseum, where all of the nominees’ work will be on display in the Somfy Photography Award 2020 | Gimme Shelter exhibition.
Arles – France
Launch of the Somfy Photography Award 2020
Launch in Arles
The Somfy Photography Award 2020 was officially kicked off at the international photography festival ‘Les Rencontres d’Arles’ in Arles in the south of France.
Paris – France
Photographers shortlisted to take part in Somfy Photography Award 2020 are announced at Paris Photo.
Shortlisted photographers announced
The nine photographers shortlisted for participation in the Somfy Photography Award 2020 were announced during Paris Photo in November 2019.
Somfy Nederland became a corporate partner of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in 2019. The Somfy Photography Award is the main expression of this partnership. The effects of light and how it can be used are the key points of interest for both the Nederlands Fotomuseum and Somfy Nederland. This is a telling illustration of their symbolic connection.
“Somfy is working on innovative, technical products that operate everything related to natural light and light management in buildings, and thus contributes to the comfort and well-being of people even though the majority of them are unaware of it. And yet, people are at the heart of the development, production, and application of our technology, which is also what we want to communicate with unique photographic images that showcase our technology to those who use it in an inspiring way. With the launch of the Somfy Photography Award, we’ve created an international photography platform and, thanks to our collaboration with the Nederlands Fotomuseum, we look forward to an optimal result.”
Sven van Witzenburg (CEO Somfy Nederland BV).
Somfy Photography Award 2018
A look back
The first national exhibition for the Somfy Photography Award was held in January and February 2018, on the first floor of the busiest station in the Netherlands, Utrecht Centraal (with >280,000 people passing through each day). It featured work by ten shortlisted photographers on the theme ‘My Space, My Place’.
Jaap Scheeren won the Somfy Photography Award 2018 with his ‘In Memoriam of a Friend’. Second prize went to Thomas Kuijpers with his installation ‘Rehab’. For more information on the 2018 participants, location, selection committee and jury members, click here.
See a video impression below.
Comfort, Well-Being, Sustainability:
The Art of Somfy
It has been shown that people feel happier and more comfortable in buildings that are equipped with Somfy technology. That’s because the technology that Somfy develops and implements in public buildings ensures the comfort of the people who use them, thanks to excellent light and temperature control. Users of these buildings have higher job satisfaction, are more productive, feel healthier, have decreased absenteeism due to illness, and are better able to concentrate. This also has a positive impact on employees, school and university students, patients, travellers, and other people who use these buildings for shorter or longer periods of time.
Overall, this means that Somfy offers comfort, well-being and sustainability. These physical, emotional and mental values are fundamental concepts in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Somfy’s story started back in 1868 when Louis Carpano, a watchmaker in the French town of Cluses, began producing parts for the watchmaking industry. As a supplier to the Swiss watch industry, he laid the foundations of quality for what was eventually to become Somfy, almost a century later. Quality is the foundation of all Somfy’s products. The development of the business under Carpano’s management points to a combination of innovation and entrepreneurship while the geographical location still determines many of the company’s cultural and social aspects.
Somfy is a leading developer and manufacturer of systems that regulate natural light in buildings – but that’s just one of the company’s activities. The group is also a leader in the field of automating access technology (e.g. automatic doors, gates and windows) and home automation. In addition, it is a leading business in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which appliances are able to communicate with each other; even entire cities can be automated in this way. These specialised developments and virtually invisible solutions can be summed up as ‘The Art of Somfy’.
Somfy is one of the few players in the world that develops, manufactures, constructs, installs and fine-tunes both motors and controls. This makes Somfy’s offering difficult for competitors to replicate, while Somfy’s solutions have demonstrable added value for building users.
Somfy’s technology means that people experience a higher degree of comfort and well-being. Another important benefit is that the use of Somfy technology means a drastic reduction in energy consumption (cooling and/or heating). Somfy is one of the world’s leading companies in this field.