American Photographer Chris Jordan Wins Prestigious Photography Award in Paris: the “Prix Pictet Commission”

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Jordan's iconic images of Albatross from Midway Atoll, from the series “Message from the Gyre”, prompted the Prix Pictet jury to announce today that Chris Jordan has been selected to undertake the third Prix Pictet Commission. Breathtaking and tragic – his photographs of Albatross, whose decomposing bodies are filled with plastic –demonstrate the unmistakable impact we are having on the planet.

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

Seattle-based photographer and artist Chris Jordan has won the international photography award, the “Prix Pictet Commission”, in Paris today.

Jordan's iconic images of Albatross from Midway Atoll, from the series “Message from the Gyre”, prompted the jury to announce today that Chris Jordan has been selected to undertake the third Prix Pictet Commission. Breathtaking and tragic – his photographs of Albatross, whose decomposing bodies are filled with plastic –demonstrate the unmistakable impact we are having on the planet. This 2011 Prix Pictet Award is focused on the theme of growth.

“For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror,” said Jordan. “These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth.

“Like the albatross, we 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.”        

Jordan embarks on a new expedition to Midway Atoll on March 21, 2011 to shoot a feature film about this unfolding tragedy. Jordan will be working with Canadian documentary producer Ian Hinkle. Based in Victoria, Canada. Hinkle works with the Vancouver-based charitable organization Global Reef on media projects that focus public attention on our oceans.

“This is not just about plastic and the albatross,” says Hinkle. “Midway is a moment of reckoning. It is a gorgeous place, presenting a challenge for all of us to face the reality of our planet and learn to not look away.”

About the Film:
On a remote and isolated island in the middle of the Pacific, twelve-hundred miles northwest of Hawaii, we are at a mid-way place.

This is a moment in time, a chance to witness and understand our role in an astonishing environmental tragedy. This is a place that provides context. Here, reflected in the beauty of the Albatross, is an unfolding horror. Yet it is a horror in which we see our own lives, a snapshot of our impact on the planet that challenges us to consider how to move forward.

Join us on a journey with photographer Chris Jordan, on a breathtaking and emotional journey, into the heart of the Pacific, and into the heart of ourselves.

About the prize
Launched in 2008 with Kofi Annan, the Prix Pictet’s Honorary President, the Prix Pictet has rapidly established itself as the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability.

It has a unique mandate – to use the power of photography to communicate vital messages to a global audience. The goal is to uncover art of the highest order, applied to confront the pressing social and environmental challenges of the new millennium.

Production of the feature film "Midway" continues through 2011.
Chris Jordan or Ian Hinkle are available for interviews / hi-res photos available.

Press contact:
Ian Hinkle             
Producer, “Midway”             
ian(at)globalreef(dot)org             
1.250.217.3933        

Midway trailer: http://www.midwayjourney.com
http://www.chrisjordan.com
http://www.prixpictet.com/growthcommission

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Ian Hinkle
ian@globalreef.org
1.250.217.3933
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