Sophie Ristelhueber, Eleven Blow-Ups #5, 2006
French artist Sophie Ristelhueber won the Deutsche Börse photography prize last night, pocketing a cheque for £30,000 to go with it.
Ristelheuber, who was nominated for a retrospective of her work at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, produces what ostensibly looks like war photography, but there is a greater complexity at work here: these scenes of the aftermath of violence are pulled together in post-production, the disparate elements stitched into a coherent meaning, in a similar manner to Jeff Wall.
Though the judges were won over ("[her] urgent images... address urgent issues of trauma, loss, memory, and conflict", said jury chair Brett Rogers), not everybody is convinced: Sean O'Hagan has described her as "an artist who uses photography" rather than a true photographer, and, writing in The Guardian, argues that her win betrays the annual prize's "distinct bias for a certain kind of conceptual art photography that might be better suited to the Turner prize shortlist".
You can judge for yourself: a selection of Riselheuber's work, along with the other three nominated artists, is on display at the Photographer's Gallery until April 17th 2010.