For the second time, the NRW KULTURsekretariat (NRWKS) is awarding prizes to ten renowned artists from ten of the 21 member cities of the NRWKS. Next to Thomas Wrede, the prizes – awarded as scholarships and each endowed with 5,000 euros – went to Katharina Bosse (Bielefeld), Uwe Esser (Krefeld), Karin Geiger (Neuss), Peter Gros (Bochum), Stephanie Pech (Bonn), Werner Ryschawy (Gelsenkirchen), Jens Sundheim (Dortmund), Heike Weber (Cologne) and Petra Wittmar (Essen).
The jury's reasoning for nominating Thomas Wrede:
»Thomas Wrede's pictures surprise, unsettle or disorientate the gaze and thus the viewer. The supposedly familiar suddenly appears uncanny, alien and threatening. Above all, it is collectively used spaces that - contrary to the expectations of photography to depict reality - become inaccessible. Wrede's photographs suspend customary perspectives and shake the measure of dimensions and the possibilities of distinguishing between reality and fiction.
They are mainly spaces created by people and for people, from which they seem banished. Traces of human life can at best be guessed at – only soulless virtualities remain visible. In the submitted group of works "Rhone Glacier", too, the no longer visible human being has had an effect and created an almost surreal, gloomily melancholic world. Not immediately identifiable, these photographs captivate through their painterly effect. Only upon knowing observation does the tragic background of this aesthetic documentation open up, becoming a disturbing vanitas symbol of our present.
In this way, Thomas Wrede also fulfils the – unspoken – expectation of a CityARTist to have an immediate impact on social and political space.«