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Romain Mader (1988, Switzerland) is the winner of the eleventh Foam Paul Huf Award 2017. This annual prize, given to a photography talent under 35 years, consists of €20.000 and an exhibition in Foam.
The jury chose Romain Mader from a pool of 100 nominated photographers, from 25 countries worldwide. Mader wins the prize for his series Ekaterina, a narrative in which he seeks a bride in the imaginary city of Ekaterina.
The jury report states:
“Romain Mader’s Ekatarina is notable for the humour and irony with which he addresses serious issues: solitude, love, exploitation and the female body. In this Chinese box of a project, each layer opens to reveal a new interpretive possibility. What is real here, and what is fiction? In the invented Ukrainian town of Ekaterina, mysteriously populated only by women, Mader - or the character he plays - looks for love. Unremarkable in appearance, he spends time with aspiring models and beauty queen hopefuls, frozen behind their smiles. In a slick style familiar from commercial snapshots, social media and tourist material, we are drawn into a world of exploited women, mail-order brides, sexual tourism, and pervasive media attention. But Mader’s depiction is funny, naive, absurd, light-hearted, and it is this contrast between the subject and its exploration that gives Ekaterina its unexpectedly moving power." The jury was delighted to recognize Romain Mader’s already completed work as well as his significant promise with the 2017 Foam Paul Huf Award. "We strongly believe that he is an artist of remarkable sensibility and subtlety, and that he is destined to be a notable voice in contemporary photography.”
The work of Romain Mader will be on show at Foam at the end of 2017.
The Foam Paul Huf Award came about as a result of the special relationship Foam had with Dutch photographer Paul Huf (1924-2002). Paul Huf was known for his innovative photographic technique and he was an important ambassador for the establishment of Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam in 2001.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Delta Lloyd, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.