A New View of Nature

Many ideas about nature have become unsettled as people realize that life and economics under global capitalism have irrevocably changed the global ecosystem. The effects of the climate crisis show that nature in the twenty-first century is no longer “natural,” but is instead affected in every way by human actions. How do we view nature today, when its condition is indivisibly interwoven in the social and political expressions of our way of life?

Together with Crespo Foundation, C/O Berlin awards the After Nature . Ulrike Crespo Photography Prize from 2024. Named after the founder and photographer Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019), the prize honors international artists using photography and lens-based media to respond to the changing ecologies of today.

Supporting Projects, Uniting Perspectives

The After Nature . Ulrike Crespo Photography Prize is awarded annually to two individuals or groups aged 35 years or older with an existing exhibition and publication practice. This international prize enables the winners to realize their projects on the topic of “Photography after Nature.” The prize carries a cash prize of €40,000 for each winner or winning group, and includes an exhibition at C/O Berlin, a joint publication, and curatorial support during the planning stages.

An expert committee nominates artists for the prize and invites them to apply. Unsolicited applications are not accepted. Then, an international jury selects two of the proposals. The prize is managed by junior curator Katharina Täschner. The first two winners will be announced in early 2024.

Thematic Focus
Photography after Nature

The topic “Photography after Nature” enables a dual perspective on how photography and nature relate. On the one hand, it references a world post-nature, in which the relationship between humans, environment, and technology are undergoing a fundamental transformation. On the other hand, it points to photography as a medium that has documented, constructed, and negotiated the world from the very start. This is echoed in the term “photography after nature,” which was often used in the nineteenth century to underscore photography’s special connection to the planet.

Inaugural Exhibition
Seeds Shall Set Us Free II, 2017-2019 © Munem Wasif, Courtesy of Project 88, Mumbai

To inaugurate the After Nature . Ulrike Crespo Photography Prize, C/O Berlin presents the thematic exhibition Image Ecology from September 16, 2023 to January 18, 2024. Showcasing works by twelve artists from around the world, the exhibition introduces new artistic responses to environmental and photographic practices, in which the material conditions under which photographs are produced are also critically examined.

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