This year's VGH Photography Award goes to Jakob Schnetz for his humorous series on one of every industry's most important marketing tools – the trade fair. Schnetz, who is a 5th-semester student of Photography at Hanover University (HsH), stands to receive 10,000 euros along with a solo exhibition at the VGH Gallery, showing from 20 November 2014 to 31 January 2015.
Around 170 national trade fairs take place in Germany each year, involving a total of 175.000 exhibitors, drawing ten million visitors. Germany is considered one of the leading trade fair locations worldwide, hosting expos on every conceivable area of interest – from weapons to carpets, computers to cars, erotica to livestock. And yet in some respects, all trade fairs resemble one another.
From 2012 to 2014, Jakob Schnetz visited trade fairs in Hanover, Berlin, Kassel, Mannheim, Dusseldorf and Friedrichshafen, among others – documenting the uniform halls where smartly-dressed exhibitors conduct their fierce battle over customers in front of uniform backdrops.
The VGH Photography Award was established in 2001. Endowed with 10,000 euros, it is one of Germany's most highly remunerated photography awards.