Fourteen international nominators selected a long list of 23 artists. From that list, a jury of three experts named the four finalists, who each showed extraordinary potential. The jury was headed by Kitty Scott, the AGO’s Carol & Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and included artist Stan Douglas and art scholar Russell Ferguson. The exhibition will be curated by Adelina Vlas, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.
“The four nominated artists for this year’s Aimia | AGO Photography Prize all work with photography in singular ways, each of which embodies a current mode in contemporary art,” Vlas said. “The strength of their work and the diversity of their approaches will make for a unique exhibition inviting visitors to appreciate, reflect on, and participate in the visual culture of our time.”
The 2016 finalists are:
Talia Chetrit (USA)
Jimmy Robert (France)
Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (Germany)
Elizabeth Zvonar (Canada)
Elizabeth Zvonar works in a variety of mediums, including collage, sculpture and photography. Her collages are created from a variety of sources, from fashion magazines to art history and science textbooks, they are then scanned and reproduced as glossy photographs while keeping the rips and cuts of the original collage. Zvonar’s images explore the conflicting meanings that exist within Western media, playing with inherent hypocrisies in the media’s depictions of women, consumerism and history. In her sculpture, she uses a variety of materials including porcelain, cement and bronze to cast body parts and pieces of clothing. These body parts are then assembled and re-contextualized with a similarly collage-like approach. The materials and forms suggest luxury objects but the strange juxtapositions are designed to unsettle the viewer and offer alternate possibilities of purpose and interpretation.
The Prize awards C$50,000 to one winner, who is chosen by public vote. The four finalists will present their work in an exhibition opening Sept. 7, 2016 at the AGO in Toronto. Voting begins in person at the AGO upon the exhibition’s opening and on the Prize’s website on Sept. 14, 2016.
The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize recognizes and develops the best in Canadian and international contemporary photography and helps to foster the next generation of artists. The Prize has a total annual prize value of C$90,000, and is composed of an annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, an online exhibition at AimiaAGOPhotographyPrize.com, a range of public programming and a national scholarship program. It includes awards of $50,000 to the winner, $5,000 to each of the three runners-up, $7,000 to each of three scholarship winners and $1,000 to each of their respective schools. This year, the Prize also expanded to include an award of $1,000 for honorable mention in the scholarship category.
Previous winners of the Prize include Americans Dave Jordano (2015) and Lisa Oppenheim (2014), Canada’s Erin Shirreff (2013), Britain’s Jo Longhurst (2012), Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).
More From Elizabeth Zvonar