Created in 2008, the Prix Levallois is a springboard for young international photographic creation. For ten years, it has been rewarding photographers under 35. A freedom of tone and expression that seduces young photographers whose approaches are free from any artistic division. The Prize doesn’t require a theme nor a format, only the quality of the work counts in the process of selecting artists.
Each year there are fifteen nominees. Their projects are presented with impartiality and good will in front of a jury in order to reward a Laureate and a Special Mention. The jury is composed of five members : four people from the world of photography and a member of the City of Levallois' town hall. The Audience award is attributed after an online vote that gives voice to all photography lovers.
Award-winning photographers will be guided by the curators who will help them finalise their project. The challenge is to reveal the quality of their proposition, by highlighting its intelligence and sensitivity.
Photographs of the three winners will be shown at the Galerie L’Escale in Levallois, in October-November.
The Laureate (winner of the first prize) receives a 10 000 € grant, the Special Mention receives a DSLR camera.
IIII The 2019 sponsor : Rip Hopkins
Rip Hopkins, an English photographer born in 1972, is the sponsor of the 2019 edition and will be a member of the jury. He will host the prize award ceremony during Les Rencontres d’Arles in July 2019 and the opening of the exhibition at the Galerie l’Escale of Levallois in October 2019.
« Rip Hopkins seems at first “unclassifiable”, he escapes the usual artistic categories, and surprises with the heterogeneity of his course and his images. [...] At the border of documentary and fiction, realism and a subjective point of view, Rip Hopkins subtly intermixes testimony with plastic preoccupations (lights, colours, lines, motifs set in resonance), without denying himself a few detours through humour or the incongruous. [...]Photography is here, in the artistic and human sense, a meeting. » Jean-Emmanuel Denave, Identité(s) 08, Lyon Septembre de la photographie, Milan, Silvana Editoriale, 2008
IIII Exhibition The 2019 laureates
The show presented at the Galerie l’Escale of Levallois from October 4 to November 23, 2019, will present the works of the three awarded photographers.
The opening and the award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 3, from 7:00 PM, in attendance of the sponsor, Rip Hopkins, the laureates and the members of the jury.
The Prix Levallois will receive a €10 000 grant and the Special Mention, an Olympus Pen-F DSLR camera.
IIII A few words from the artistic directors about the 2019 edition
"The 2019 Prix Levallois confirms its international status : 670 candidates from 77 nationalities (France, 278; Russia, 68; Iran, 50; Italy, 21...) with near-perfect parity! After looking at more than 10,000 photographs, we have chosen 15 photographers (8 women, 7 men). They are from a number of different countries: France (3), Russia (3), Italy (2), Iran (2), India (1), Mexico (1), Costa Rica (1), Belgium (1) and the UK (1).
As we did during the selection process in 2018, we have paid close attention to the general trends present in the portfolios we received. This year’s offering confirmed the dominance of documentary photography, often giving the sense that it is only the subject which counts - as if this on its own were enough!
However, we did also receive many portraits and self-portraits, still lifes, landscapes, bodies in nature, environmental subjects, and yet again a large number of works in black and white.
In our view, photography is a way of writing about the world, not a banal method for recording it. While making our selection, we prioritised those candidates who did not give in to the temptations of imagery, and who rather presented true photographic challenges, both in their engagement with, and reflection on, their subjects, and in the quality of their conceptual and plastic ways of writing.
Now it’s your turn to explore our selection, which we hope is qualitative and invigorating."
Catherine Dérioz et Jacques Damez - Galerie Le Réverbère
IIII Prix Levallois, 10 ans ! Une collection photographique
“The Prix Levallois celebrates its 10th Anniversary. I remember very clearly the time I met Paul Frèches the curator for the Levallois Photo Festival. I had just suggested to him that I take back the duties given to Mark Grosset, who was already very ill and then sadly died the following August. Paul explained to me that to give the festival a boost, we needed to create a Prize. The initial idea of the Festival was to showcase young emerging photographers. That’s how the Prix Levallois was born. It is open to a generation of artists who are unknown to the great cultural institutions, collectors or the general public. Thus, for ten years the Prix Levallois has rewarded photographers under 35, who represent freedom of tone and the real diversity of the art of contemporary photography which is a vast area of exploration and creativity.
Each year fifteen nominees are chosen by the artistic directors. Their projects are presented and defended with total impartiality and goodwill before the jury which chooses the laureate of the Prix Levallois, who then receives a 10,000 Euro grant, as well as a runner-up who receives a special mention and a digital camera. As for the amateur photographers, they are not left out as they can vote on-line for their favourite photographer. The one obtaining the most votes wins the “Audience award”.
The Prix Levallois is a moment of discovery and the first step to being recognised for the artists. We are gambling on the long term. Hindsight gained from time and continuity has allowed the Prix Levallois to become valuable and today I am delighted to say that it has become an international reference in terms of young, creative photography.
I thank all those who have shared in this adventure: Paul Frèches, Fannie Escoulen, Catherine Dérioz and Jacques Damez from Le Réverbère gallery who have picked up the torch, and the thousands of young photographers who have put their trust in us. Finally, a special thanks to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, to its president, Delphine Ernotte, and to its director, Rémy Fenzy, for their welcome and support.”
Stéphane Decreps - Deputy Mayor for cultural affairs, ville de Levallois
IIII Exhibition Prix Levallois, 10 ans ! Une collection photographique
This event is a celebration of the 10 years of the Prix Levallois and enlightens the first decade laureates, as well as the 2018 and 2019 laureates under the artistic direction of the Galerie Le Réverbère. The exhibition is conceived from the collection of photographs formed through the years. The diversity of approaches — from the choice of subjects to the artistic forms — shows a profusion of propositions and the openness that contemporary photography offers.
From July 1 to 7 at the ENSP Arles 16 rue des Arènes
Open monday from 2 PM to 7 PM, tuesday to saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM, sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Opening of the exhibition July the 4th at 6:00 PM. In preview, live hanging of the photographs of the 2019 laureate.
IIII A few words from the artistic directors about the exhibition Prix Levallois, 10 ans ! Une collection photographique
"This exhibition celebrates the 10 years of the Prix Levallois, it enlightens the laureates of the first decade, and the ones of 2018, 2019 — under the artistic direction of Le Réverbère gallery, Lyon. It has been conceived from the collection of photographs formed through the years. The diversity of approaches — from the choice of subjects to the artistic forms — shows a profusion of propositions and the openness that contemporary photography offers.
Preparing the exhibition of the 12 laureates of the Prix Levallois is a high risky business, it is not specific to this particular prize, the risk would be the same for another one. A quick overview could make us think that a significant scenography would be enough. Still, producing appearances to interiorise absence remains a fool’s bargain. To give substance and make sense, this show made of the works of 12 photographers gathered by coincidence, stands for setting in motion a reflection that produces presence in contact of the photographs. It is up to the viewer’s perception to create this presence. Through it, he would move along the forms and subjects — sometimes conflicting — ; his eye would recognise signs systems peculiar to each photographer. Presenting the laureates chronologically does not seek to create false consistency; it rather underlines the diversity of propositions.
A reference to the famous grey’s scale, well known by photographers, links one laureate to the other. This variation is a metaphor of the interstice that separates each one, while covering wide fields of contemporary photography. As for any anniversaries, an ensemble more or less incongruous is gathered. Various personalities stand alongside and create echolalia. For now, may we give way to the alchemy and the whispers of time… To go with these whispers, a video summarises this last decade, by travelling across the works of the collection.”
Catherine Dérioz et Jacques Damez - Galerie Le Réverbère