May 21, 2014 8:11 pm

Food for thought: Michael Schmidt scoops photography prize

Works by the German photographer Michael Schmidt on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Michael Schmidt has won the 2014 Prix Pictet, a global award for photography and sustainability, with a series of images on food consumption.

The 68-year-old German photographer, who lives and works in Berlin, explored the processes and “residue” of food production, from the farm to the table, in the images, which will be on display in London.

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Photographs in the winning series of images include unidentified food industry locations across Europe, such as factories, packing plants and supermarkets.

Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general and honorary president of the Prix Pictet, announced the winner of the 100,000 Swiss francs (£66,200) prize at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the museum will unveil an exhibition of works by artists shortlisted in the prize.

Mr Annan said the works “ought to persuade governments, businesses – and each of us as individual consumers – of the need for a fundamental rethink of the principles on which present-day affluence is founded”.

The fifth Prix Pictet prize, sponsored by the Swiss wealth manager Pictet Group, was selected by a jury that included Professor Sir David King, former UK chief scientist; Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum in Japan; the architect Wang Shu; and Peter Aspden, the Financial Times arts writer.

Mr Schmidt produced his prizewinning photo series Lebensmittel (Food Stuff) between 2006 and 2010. Sir David described the work as “an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves”.

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