Consumption 2015

Hong Hao, Book – Keeping of 2007 A, Beijing, 2008.

The theme of the fifth cycle of the Prix Pictet is Consumption. Consumption lies at the heart of the Prix Pictet’s mission to bring global attention to what we believe is the greatest challenge facing humankind today: the issue of environmental sustainability.

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It is a multi-faceted theme that is rich with creative potential. We are all consumers. We have invented new forms of building, industrial production, farming and energy; we have emptied the seas and ravaged the land in our relentless drive to satisfy our unquenchable desires. We have built vast empires based on luxury goods, creating demand for essentials that we didn’t know we needed. We have sustained this through the sometimes thoughtless exploitation of the world’s poorest people.

The Shortlist of eleven artists selected for the fifth cycle of the Prix Pictet, was announced at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris on 13 November 2013. The winner was announced on 21 May 2014 at the opening of an exhibition of works by the shortlisted artists at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. German photographer Michael Schmidt was named as the fifth laureate of the Prix Pictet for his series Lebensmittel by honorary president, Kofi Annan. Three days after the announcement was made Michael Schmidt sadly passed away aged 68.


The jury for the Prix Pictet are a group of leading experts in the visual arts from around the world including directors of major museums and galleries as well as journalists and critics. They lead the global search for images of high artistic qcuality and narrative power and fit the theme of a particular cycle.

Professor Sir David King (Chairman)

UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for ClimateChange (SRCC)

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Peter Aspden

Arts Writer, Financial Times

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Luc Delahaye

Laureate, Prix Pictet Power

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Fumio Nanjo

Director, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

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Loa Haagen Pictet

Curator, Pictet Collection

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Martin Roth

Director, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Wang Shu


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Elisabeth Sussman

Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography Whitney Museumof American Art, New York

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The Fifth Commission has been granted to Colombian Juan Fernando Herrán. He will undertake a series of field trips to examine the relevance of mass-produced  consumer goods to the basic needs of indigenous communities in remote areas of Colombia. His photographic project will be informed by a dialogue with Pictet’s charity partner, OneAction.

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Horizontes, Juan Fernando Herrán, 2015.