AIMIA: AGO Photography Prize 2013

Erin Shirreff, Lune, image fixe, 2010, vidéo couleur, muet, 32 min, en boucle



Erin Shirreff, Lake, video still, 2012, color video, silent, 44 minute loop



Erin Shirreff’s long-duration videos 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. Projected onto ad hoc structures, the works have a spatial dimension that underscores the materiality of Shirreff’s source photographs. Lake began with a 1980s brochure image of a landscape in British Columbia, where she grew up. In this work, as in earlier works such as Moon Shirreff invites reflection on our relationship to something timeless and out of reach. The minimalist, formal beauty of Shirreff’s works belies deeper questions about the often paradoxical relationship between time and space and the image, and the impact of perception on the location of meaning.



Chino Otsuka, 1982 and 2005, Paris, France from the series Imagine Finding Me, 2005,



Chino Otsuka, 1984 and 2005, London, UK from the series Imagine Finding Me, 2005


Chino Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between the memory, time and photography. At age 10 she moved from Japan to the United Kingdom to attend school. Her experience of becoming familiar with a new place, a different language and new customs while she was developing her adolescent identity has profoundly shaped her work in photography, video and writing. Her series Imagine Finding Me consists of double self-portraits, with images of her present self beside her past self in various places she has visited. As Otsuka says: “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.”



LaToya Ruby Frazier, Momme from the series Notion of Family, 2008



LaToya Ruby Frazier, Grandma Ruby and Me from the series Notion of Family, 2005


LaToya Ruby Frazier uses the conventions of social documentary and portraiture to expose untold stories of post-industrial decline in the United States. With her series The Notion of Family, Frazier presents images of herself and family members, with particular emphasis of collaborative portraits created with her mother and grandmother, in their hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Formerly a centre of steel production, the town is now in economic decline. Frazier photographs psychological portraits of three generations of women who have been affected by adverse social and economic circumstances yet share deep and complex ties. Frazier portrays herself, her mother and her grandmother as one, conveying rich emotions both through their faces and bodies and through images of objects in their home.




Edgardo Aragón, Tinieblas, 2009, 13 channel video, 7:50 min



Edgardo Aragón’s work invites reflection on the history of violence in his homeland, Mexico. Deeply engaged with political and social histories of Oaxaca, the province where he was born and still lives, his video and photography works often document performance and sculptural interventions against landscapes that appear at once serene and foreboding. Tinieblas (Darkness) shows members of a local band playing a death march while standing on land markers. Each musician was filmed individually, but when the 13 videos are played simultaneously, the collective music is eerily out of sync. The land markers refer to the history of territorial disputes in this region, where violence has tragically escalated in recent years. The images convey a mournful sensibility, underscored both by the sound of the music and by the grandeur of the landscape contrasted with the smallness of human activity.


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