This project was singled out for distinction among the submissions to LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016 by juror Iatã Cannabrava. Each juror selected one photographer to be awarded a special $1,000 grant—discover why this one stood out.
We live in a village. One half of the week, me and my daughter live in a house with her father. The other half of the week we live in a house 500 metres from my husband’s.
My daughter takes it easy, she has no choice! She doesn’t realize all of this. I am afraid how it will affect her when she’s grown up.
At first glance, Michaela Spurna’s work “She” looks like something the author staged using her own family in a photographic theatre. But if you pay more attention, things become enigmatic and mystery fills the air. It’s that kind of “invisible” mystery that only photographers can catch. Upon a third look, weirdness is then what draws our attention. The child entranced by lions’ love-making; with her father’s sweat; the almost supernatural scene when the girl is hung from a hook. David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock are echoed—but in the final, definitive look, it is the pure vision of a banal world that we find. Vision elevated to its highest potency.
—Iatã Cannabrava, Photographer and Festival Organizer
São Paulo, Brazil
Editors’ Note: Spurna’s work—along with photographs from nearly 50 of the winners and finalists from both the Portrait Awards and Exposure Awards—will be exhibited at Photo London 2016. The fair will run from May 19-22 at the Somerset House in central London. Tickets are on sale now. We hope to see you there!