Winsor Gallery artist Chris Jordan is one of 12 international artists shortlisted for the world's leading prize in photography and sustainability, the Prix Pictet. Established in 2008 by Geneva-based private bank Pictet and Cie, the goal of the competition is to draw attention to artists confronting social and environmental challenges of the new millennium. Shortlisted works draw a global audience, with pieces from the first two Prix Pictet cycles having been exhibited in Paris, Thessaloniki, Dubai, Hong Kong, Eindoven, Dresden, Bonn, London, Berlin, Lausanne Geneva, Dublin, Moscow, Milan, Madrid and New Delhi.
Chris Jordan has been shortlisted for his series Message from the Gyre. Of this series, Jordan writes:
"On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.
For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here."
Chris Jordan was previouslly shortlisted for the 2010 Prix Pictet for his series Running the Numbers. The winner, who is awarded a $100,000 (CAD) cash prize, will be announced at a special ceremony held in Paris on March 17th, 2011.