August 29, 2013 - Art Gallery of Ontario - Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2013 short list
August 29, 2013

Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2013 short list

Left to right: Chino Otsuka, 1982 and 2005, Paris, Japan, 2005. Erin Shirreff, Lake, 2012. Edgardo Aragón, Tinieblas, 2009. LaToya Ruby Frazier, Self-Portrait (March 10 a.m.), 2009.*

Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2013 short list

On August 27, Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), announced the four artists who have been shortlisted for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, Canada’s leading international contemporary photography award. The winner of the 50,000 CDN prize is chosen entirely by public vote, and online voting is now open at and, for the first time, on the Prize’s Facebook page. Visitors to the AGO can also cast a vote inside the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2013 Exhibition, on view at the AGO from September 11, 2013 to January 5, 2014.

The finalists are Edgardo Aragón (Mexico), LaToya Ruby Frazier (U.S.A.), 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. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC), Mexico City; MoMA P.S.1, New York; and the Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles.

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. Her work has been shown at the Brooklyn Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; MoMA PS1; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. In 2012 Frazier was appointed critic in photography at Yale University.

Chino Otsuka was born in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to the U.K. at the age of 10 to attend school. Often mining her own autobiography, Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between memory, time and photography. She has also published four books in Japan as a writer and published her first autobiographical book at the age of 15. Her works are found in public collections including National Media Museum, U.K., Wilson Centre for Photography, U.K., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of 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. Recently, her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.; White Cube, London; and Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario. Her work is also in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.

A jury of three—made up of 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 a long list of 14.

The finalists will receive a fully funded six-week residency in Canada next year, and their work will be exhibited at the AGO beginning September 11. A free public launch party will be held at the AGO that night, with presentations by nominators and members of the jury about each of the four artists. The following evening, September 12, at 7pm, 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.

The winner will receive 50,000 CDN and the three remaining finalists will each receive a cash honorarium of 5,000 CDN. Online voting is now open at and continues until 11:59pm on November 5. For the first time, voters can also make their choice via Facebook. Users who vote on Facebook can also enter for a chance to win a trip to the winner announcement event on November 7, at the AGO’s popular First Thursdays art party.

Previous winners of the Prize, formerly titled The Grange Prize, include British photographer Jo Longhurst (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 updates on the Prize, further details on the shortlisted artists and additional information, 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 CDN 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’s 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.

*Left to right: Chino Otsuka, 1982 and 2005, Paris, Japan, 2005. From the series “Imagine Finding Me.” Chromogenic print, 305 x 406 mm. Erin Shirreff, Lake (still), 2012. Video, colour, silent, 44-minute loop. Edgardo Aragón, Tinieblas (still), 2009. 13-channel video, 7:50 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Proyectos Monclova. LaToya Ruby Frazier, Self-Portrait (March 10 a.m.), 2009. From the series “Notion of Family.” Gelatin silver print, 50.8 x 60.96 cm.

Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2013 short list
Art Gallery of Ontario
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