Canadian photographer Erin Shirreff wins the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize

Canadian photographer Erin Shirreff wins the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize

Art Gallery of Ontario

Erin Shirreff, Lake (still), 2012. Color video, silent, 44 minute loop.

November 8, 2013

Erin Shirreff wins the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prizehas been awarded to Canadian artist Erin Shirreff, it was announced at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on November 7. Shirreff was selected by public vote to receive the 50,000 CAD prize. A record number of votes―more than 25,000―were cast during the ten-week voting period, which closed on Novemeber 5, 2013. Runners-up Edgardo Aragón (Mexico), LaToya Ruby Frazier (United States) and Chino Otsuka (Japan/United Kingdom) each receive a 5,000 CAD stipend dedicated to the research, creation and production of new work. All four artists receive six to eight-week fully funded residencies across Canada, to commence in early 2014. 

Shirreff, who now lives and works in New York City, has gained recognition for her unique interweaving of photography, video and sculpture. Her work raises questions about the often-paradoxical relationship between time and space and the image. Recently her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; White Cube, London; and Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario. Her work is also in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others.

The artists were selected via an international nomination process, which solicited nominations from senior artists and curators from around the world. A jury of three international experts in photography and contemporary art, led by Elizabeth Smith, the AGO’s former executive director, curatorial affairs, selected the shortlist from the pool of nominations. The other jurors were Urs Stahel, founding director of Fotomuseum Winterthur, and Algerian-born artist Kader Attia.

Voting began on August 27 at and on the Prize’s Facebook page. The public also had the opportunity to vote at the AGO inside the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2013 Exhibition, on view at the AGO until January 5, 2014.  

The exhibition features two of Shirreff’s long-duration videos, Lake and Moon, both of which extend and explore the act of looking. Constructed from hundreds of individual photographs captured in her studio, these works collapse time and place as they fluctuate between natural and artificial effects, stillness and motion. Lake features an image of the Okanagan Valley, near Shirreff’s hometown of Kelowna, B.C. 

“There was an incredible amount of talent among this year’s shortlisted artists and we were thrilled to see the enormous response from the public, who voted by the thousands, in record numbers,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “In partnership with Aimia, the prize is truly innovative in its accessibility and broad support of Canadian and international contemporary photography.”

“Together with the AGO, we are committed to stimulating a meaningful dialogue about contemporary photography and the artists who create it here in Canada and around the world,” said Vince Timpano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada, Aimia. “We offer our sincerest congratulations to Erin Shirreff and all of the shortlisted artists.”

Previous winners of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, formerly known as The Grange Prize, include Jo Longhurst of the U.K. (2012), Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian photographer Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian photographer Sarah Anne Johnson (2008). For more information and updates about the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, please visit and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.

About the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize
The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada’s leading photography prize and one of the largest arts and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than 85,000 CAD directly to artists working in photography each year, and is comprised of an annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, an online exhibition at, international artist residencies, public programming, as well as an extensive national scholarship program.

About Aimia
Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, has unique capabilities and proven expertise in delivering proprietary loyalty services, launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, creating value through loyalty analytics and driving innovation in the emerging digital and mobile spaces. In Canada, Aimia owns and operates Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program, as well as a proprietary loyalty division that designs, launches and operates new client programs. Aimia also offers world-class data analytics through its Intelligent Shoppers Solutions suite of tools and has a minority position in Cardlytics, a pioneer of transaction-driven marketing in banking. For more information, please visit

About the AGO
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program and Founding Partner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.


Canadian photographer Erin Shirreff wins the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize
RSVP for Canadian photographer Erin Shirreff wins the 2013 Aimia |…
Art Gallery of Ontario
November 8, 2013

Thank you for your RSVP.

Art Gallery of Ontario will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.