Vince Timpano (left), with 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize winner Erin Shirreff and AGO director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum.
In November 2013, before an excited crowd at AGO First Thursdays, Canadian artist Erin Shirreff was named as winner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize. Shirreff receives the $50,000 cash prize and will head to the Maritimes in spring 2014 for her residency. Meanwhile, visitors to the AGO can see her work and that of the other shortlisted photographers — Edgardo Aragón, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Chino Otsuka — until Jan. 5, 2014, inside the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize exhibition.
In the new year, another exciting part of the Prize program begins. The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program will award three $7,000 scholarships each year to students entering their final year of study toward Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with a focus or major in photography. The scholarships are awarded to students at select Canadian academic institutions who have shown extraordinary potential throughout their undergraduate studies. This year’s partner schools are OCAD University, Ryerson University, Concordia University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD), Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), Université du Québec and the University of Manitoba. The program also awards $1000 CAD honorariums to the schools of the winning students.
Starting in March 2014, each academic partner institution will form a jury of three faculty members to review their students’ submissions and select one finalist, and the finalists will be evaluated by the Scholarship Program jury, consisting of two representatives from the Art Gallery of Ontario and a previous winner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.
In November 2014, the three winners of the scholarship and a faculty member of their respective institution will be invited to Toronto to celebrate their success, where they will meet the artists short-listed for the Prize and attend the winner announcement celebration.
Next year, the Prize cycle will begin again, with nominators and jurors named in early spring, long-list and short-list announcements over the summer, before a new round of voting next fall. We hope you’ll follow along with us and discover some of the world’s best photo-based art in 2014.
Stay connected with the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize on Facebook and Twitter.
Today, four extraordinary international photographers were selected as finalists for the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, Canada’s leading award for contemporary photography and the first major art prize in the world whose winner is chosen entirely by public vote. Voting opens today at AimiaAGOPhotographyPrize.com and, for the first time, on Facebook.
The finalists, selected by jury from a long list of 14 artists, are: Edgardo Aragón (Mexico), LaToya Ruby Frazier (U.S.), Chino Otsuka (Japan/U.K.) and Erin Shirreff (Canada). As a group, these four artists represent a snapshot of current directions in photography and video in which images are used to build powerful, complex and often personal narratives.
Edgardo Aragón was born in Mexico, and his work invites reflection on the history of violence in his homeland. Deeply engaged with political and social histories of Oaxaca, the province where he was born and still lives, his video and photography often document performance and sculptural interventions against landscapes that appear at once serene and foreboding.
LaToya Ruby Frazier was born and raised in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Her work is informed by late 19th- and early 20th-century modes of representation in documentary practice. She uses the conventions of social documentary and portraiture to expose untold stories of post-industrial decline in the United States, filtered through the experiences of her own family and community in Braddock.
Chino Otsuka was born in Tokyo and moved to the U.K. at age 10 to attend school. Often mining her own autobiography, Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between memory, time and photography.
Erin Shirreff was born in 1975 in Kelowna, B.C., and now lives and works in New York. Her work interweaves photography, video and sculpture to extend and explore the act of looking, asking questions about the often paradoxical relationship between time and space and the image, and the impact of perception on the location of meaning.
A jury of three — comprising lead juror Elizabeth Smith, former AGO executive director of curatorial affairs and current executive director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in New York; Urs Stahel, director, curator, and editor of Fotomuseum Winterthur; and artist Kader Attia — selected the four finalists from the long list.
“The jurors were delighted with the strength and diversity of the long-listed artists,” said Smith. “In choosing the four finalists, we responded most to qualities that made the work fresh, powerful and original in some way. We looked for strength, coherence and consistency in the interplay of imagery and content and selected the artists whose work made the most pronounced impact on all of us.”
An exhibition of works by the four short-listed artists, curated by Smith, opens at the AGO on Sept. 11, 2013. We’re also hosting a free public launch party that night, with presentations by nominators and members of the jury about each of the four artists.
The following evening, Sept. 12, 2013, at 7 p.m., the four artists will speak at a special panel event at the AGO alongside Smith; AGO associate curator of photography Sophie Hackett; and nominators Jennifer Blessing, senior curator of photography at The Guggenheim; and Helga Pakasaar, curator at Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver. Tickets to the event are available now.
Today, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announced its first-ever long list of 14 finalists from around the world, including photographers from North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. The $50,000 prize honours living artists whose work in photography and video over the past five years has displayed extraordinary potential.
The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2013 long list includes:
Edgardo Aragón (Mexico)
Jessica Eaton (Canada)
Em’Kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon)
LaToya Ruby Frazier (U.S.)
Regina José Galindo (Guatemala)
Ron Jude (U.S.)
Tomoko Kikuchi (Japan)
Emanuel Licha (Canada)
Abraham Oghobase (Nigeria)
Chino Otsuka (Japan)
Erin Shirreff (Canada)
Dan Siney (Canada)
Efrat Shvily (Israel)
Lucie Stahl (Germany)
The nominators are leading Canadian and international experts in photography (curators, academics, and artists) who have each nominated two artists for the Prize — one from their home countries or regions of expertise and one internationally.
The prestigious group of nominators for the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize include:
Yael Bartana, artist
Jennifer Blessing, senior curator, Photography, Guggenheim Museum, New York
Karen Irvine, curator and associate director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago
Michiko Kasahara, chief curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Mark Lanctôt, curator, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Helga Pakasaar, curator, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
José Roca, adjunct curator, Latin American Art, Tate
Bisi Silva, director, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria
From the list of 14 artists, a jury of three experts headed by lead juror Elizabeth Smith, AGO executive director of Curatorial Affairs, will select a short list of four, including at least one Canadian artist. These four artists will receive a fully funded six-week residency in Canada and their work will be exhibited at the AGO beginning Sept. 11, 2013.
The winner will be selected by a public vote inside the AGO exhibition and online at http://www.aimiaagophotographyprize.com. The shortlist will be announced on Aug. 27, 2013, and the winner will be announced at AGO First Thursdays on Nov. 7.
And to stay connected with the latest updates about artist alumni and next year’s artists, events and programs, follow us on Facebook, Vimeo, and on Twitter @AimiaAGOPrize.
Today is a brand-new day for Canada’s largest photography prize, and we wanted you to be among the first to hear it.
This morning we announced the expansion of one of Canada’s largest and most innovative art prize programs. The Grange Prize will now be known as the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, with a greater international focus and a new national scholarship program fostering the next generation of Canadian photographic artists across the country.
What’s changing? First, we’re going international. The new Prize will invite a group of eight leading Canadian and international experts in photography (critics, curators or artists) to each nominate two artists for the Prize — one international and one from their home country/region of expertise, forming an international long list for the Prize. From there, a jury of three experts led by the Lead Juror (an AGO curator) will select a shortlist of four, including at least one Canadian artist.
Second, we’re introducing a major new initiative: the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program. The scholarship program, valued at more than C$20,000, is intended for full-time students — Canadian or international — who are entering their final year of study toward a bachelor’s degree with a focus in studio photography. Eight respected and established visual arts institutions from across the country will participate in the first year of the Prize with the hope of expanding the roster of participating schools in the coming years.
And of course, there is our new name. Aimia, a global leader in loyalty, is the new presenting partner of the Prize. Aimia is also the parent company of Aeroplan, the Prize’s founding partner.
Jo Longhurst (foreground) preparing to shoot at Gemini Gymnastics, Oshawa, Ont.
Only a few days after learning she had won The Grange Prize 2012, Jo Longhurst began her six-week residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario, occupying the Anne Lind Artist-in-Residence Studio in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre. Over the three weeks since the winner announcement, Jo has been working to develop new ideas and create new works.
During her residency, Jo will build upon her series Other Spaces, which is an examination of the notion of perfection framed through the physical and emotional experiences of elite gymnasts. She has been working closely with Gemini Gymnastics in Oshawa, owned by Elena Davydova, the 1980 Olympic all-around gold medallist, representing the former Soviet Union, and one of the coaches of the Canadian Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team at the 2012 London Olympics. Jo’s new work will explore examples of the gender divide inherent in the world of gymnastics, such as particular moves that female gymnasts can’t use in competitions like Iron Cross on the rings. (Jo has photographed a female gymnast holding this pose.) She is developing two specific works with Davydova and the club’s elite squad.
Jo accepts The Grange Prize on Nov. 1, 2012.
Jo has been contemplating what direction her work might take beyond her residency: “I continue to revisit my archive of images from the World Championships and have begun to look at them from a more abstract perspective,” Jo says about her future work. “The new work will be visually different but follows the same line of inquiry into the ideas of perfection, photograph, and the ways in which we makes sense of our place in the universe.”
Jo says that her win was a complete surprise — but a gratifying one. “The win was touching because it was a public vote,” Jo says. “I want my work to be critical, yet accessible to everyone.” When it comes to photography, Jo admits that although her work is primarily lens-based, she feels that medium-specific categories can sometimes be frustrating, and she hopes that “the categorization doesn’t limit people’s exposure to art.”
In addition to the artist residency, Jo received a $50,000 cash prize. The three other finalists each received cash honorariums of $5,000 and international artist residencies. British artist Jason Evans will travel to Toronto next spring to begin his residency at the AGO, and Canadian artists Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell will travel to the U.K. next year.
Read more about Jo’s work and see images of works from her Other Spaces series here. Her residency continues until December 14, 2012.
Jo will be in conversation with Sophie Hackett, assistant curator of photography at the AGO and lead juror of The Grange Prize 2012, at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2012, at the AGO, as part of the next installment of the AGO’s 1st Thursdays.
After 10 weeks of voting, we are excited to announce that the winner of The Grange Prize 2012 is British photographer Jo Longhurst! Born in Essex, U.K., Jo has gained international recognition for her work and exhibited in London, Paris and Berlin and at this year’s Documenta (13). A PhD graduate from the Royal College of Art, Jo’s work investigates ideas of physical perfection and self-creation, capturing the striking portraits of elite gymnasts and whippet show dogs in her two primary bodies of work, Other Spaces and The Refusal.
The Grange Prize is Canada’s largest photography prize and the only major Canadian art prize determined by public vote. A unique partnership between the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aeroplan, the prize aims to engage the public in a vital discourse about the power and prevalence of photography in our world today through public exhibitions, voting and online dialogue.
Longhurst receives the $50,000 cash prize, while the other three finalists each receive a cash honorarium of $5,000 dedicated to the creation of new work. All four finalists will receive artist residencies: Longhurst begins her residency at the AGO on Nov. 4, 2012, and will occupy the Weston Family Learning Centre’s Artist-in-Residence Studio until Dec. 15, 2012; Jason Evans will be in residence at the AGO in spring 2013; and Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell will travel to the U.K. for their residencies early next year.
An exterior view of Canada House, located on Trafalgar Square in London, U.K. It is hosting an exhibition of the four shortlisted Grange Prize 2012 photographers until January 2013. Photo by Sean O’Neill/Art Gallery of Ontario.
Inside The Grange Prize Exhibition at Canada House. Photo by Paul Glen, Canadian High Commission.
Inside The Grange Prize Exhibition at Canada House. Photo by Paul Glen, Canadian High Commission.
Three of the four photographers shortlisted for The Grange Prize 2012: (l-r) Annie MacDonell, Jason Evans and Jo Longhurst. Photo by Paul Glen, Canadian High Commission.
On Sept. 27, 2012, The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition opened at Canada House, in the heart of London’s Trafalgar Square. Aeroplan and the AGO announced the United Kingdom as the partner country for The Grange Prize 2012 in March of this year. Since then, the AGO and Aimia, Aeroplan’s parent company, have been collaborating with Canada House — part of the High Commission of Canada in London — to make this year’s prize a truly international cultural exchange.
The Canada House Grange Prize exhibition — curated by Sophie Hackett, Lead Juror and Assistant Curator of Photography at the AGO — presents works by the four shortlisted artists and gives visitors a chance to vote for their favourite photographer. It runs until Jan. 6, 2013.
The winner of the $50,000 grand prize will be announced on Nov. 1, 2012, at the second of the AGO’s 1st Thursdays, a monthly public event. That means you have just a couple weeks to make your vote count! In-gallery voting stations are available at the Canada House and AGO exhibitions, as well as online at TheGrangePrize.com.
From left to right: Emmanuelle Léonard (Canada), Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009, #5137 (detail), 2009. Inkjet print, 102 x 90 cm. Annie MacDonell, The present is the future of the past and the past of the future (The Fortune Teller) (detail), 2012, 16″ x 12″, chromogenic print. Jason Evans, Untitled (detail), from The Daily Nice, 2004–ongoing. Online project, dimensions variable. Jo Longhurst (UK), I Know What You’re Thinking (detail), 2003. Chromogenic print, 101.6 x 76 cm.
This year’s nominated artists share a fascination with the world of images that surround, and often bombard, us every day. Taking on everything from fashion editorial and sports photography to found objects and crime-scene documentation, by appropriating existing images, placing familiar genres in new contexts, and pushing the photographic print into the three-dimensional realm, these nominees reinvigorate our relationship with photography. In this discussion, The Grange Prize 2012 shortlisted artists chatted with members of jury about the provocative issues and topics their works traverse.
Friday, September 7, 3 – 6 pm
in the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School
in the Weston Family Learning Centre at the AGO
Session 1: Photography’s Dimensions
3 – 4:15 pm
Click to play:
Moderated by: Dr. Gaëlle Morel, Curator, Ryerson Image Centre
Panelists: Sara Knelman, Annie MacDonell, Jo Longhurst
Since the 1970s, in the wake of post-modernism’s questioning of the photographic image, many contemporary photography artists have worked with spaces of display – studio, gallery, cinema – and their conventions – both past and present – as they push two-dimensional images into the three-dimensional realm. How can we make sense of these expanded dimensions of the image?
Session 2: Photography’s Contexts
4:45 – 6 pm
Click to play:
Moderated by: Sophie Hackett, Lead Juror and Assistant Curator, Photography, AGO
Panelists: Charlotte Cotton, Emmanuelle Léonard, Jason Evans
The photographic images we encounter on a daily basis circulate in the press, on billboards, posters, postcards and online. They teach us, for instance, about fashion, crime, what’s beautiful and what isn’t. How do contemporary photographers today make use of different contexts and modes of circulation to reinvent how we understand photographs?
The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition opens tomorrow, Sept. 5, and we’re putting the finishing touches on what promises to be a fantastic show. Below, a sneak preview of some of the works by Annie, Jo, Jason and Emmanuelle that will be on display at the Gallery until Jan. 6, 2013.
Celebrate the opening of the exhibition with us tomorrow night at The Grange Prize 2012 launch party, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Walker Court, where you’ll have a chance to hear from the jury and meet the artists in person. Find all the details and RSVP here.
Jo Longhurst, A-Z, from the series Other Spaces.
Jason Evans installation in progress.
Works from Annie MacDonell’s series Picture Collection.
Works from Emmanuelle Léonard’s series Citizens, Protest, March 15, 2009.