The Somfy Photography Award is an opportunity for professional photographers to create work on a specific subject, based on their own project proposals. A selection committee of experts will assess these proposals and the accompanying documentation. Marcel Feil of FOAM provided technical and content guidance to the ten shortlisted finalists of the first edition of the Somfy Photography Award while they executed their project proposals. Their hard work ultimately produced the exhibition that is currently on display at Utrecht Central Station, on the first floor of the main hall. An international jury assessed the work at this exhibition and selected a winner (€10,000 prize) and a runner-up (€2,500 prize).
The Somfy Photography Award 2018 theme is ‘My Space, My Place’.
Every person occupies a certain space. Every individual has an influence on his or her immediate environment – not only physically with their own body, but psychologically and emotionally too. This is most clearly visible in the space that is truly your own: your own home, your own space, the place where you feel safe amongst the things and people that inextricably belong with you. This place is the scene of optimal interplay between person, space and environment. Feelings of security, well-being, familiarity and comfort play an essential part.
In places that are by definition less personal, these values are not present to the same degree. How, for example, do you manage to find your place at the office, at school or university, or in a health care centre or hospital? How do people find and experience their own place in these types of commercial and industrial buildings? How do people find and experience comfort and well-being in these buildings? Is the experience individual, or conversely, more collective – or is it a combination of the two? What types of people live and work in these buildings, and what is the interaction between these people like within such a specific space? What influence does this have on the way that you shape your own space, the way you bring your own personal interpretation to it? Is this experience the same for everyone, or are there differences or even contrasts?
The relationship between person and space, and the relationship between different people in a particular space, is central to ‘My Space, My Place’. The exhibition’s emphasis lies on making the space your own and achieving well-being, individual or otherwise.