Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Announces 2015 Shortlist: Public Votes For C$50,000 Winner on Sept.15, 2015

Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2015 Shortlist
Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2015 Shortlist
Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2015 Shortlist

Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2015 Shortlist

Earlier in May, Aimia | AGO had announced three undergraduate winners for their Photography Prize Scholarship Program.

This is an update to the previous blog, 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize for Contemporary Photography: 27 Semi-finalists Selected from Around the World.

  • This announcement is the selection of four international finalists where the public is invited to vote for one winner of the C$50,000 prize.
  • The four finalists will each be awarded a six-week artist residency in Canada and will present their work in an exhibition opening Sept. 9, 2015, at the AGO.
  • Voting begins in person at the AGO upon the exhibition’s opening and on the Prize’s website on Sept. 15, 2015.


Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2015 shortlist


Jury selects four international finalists; public vote for C$50,000 prize begins Sept. 15

TORONTO, June 23, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – Four extraordinary international artists have been shortlisted for the 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, Canada’s most significant prize for photography. Co-presented by Aimia, a Canadian based global leader in data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Prize awards C$50,000 to one winner, who is chosen by public vote. The four finalists will each be awarded a six-week artist residency in Canada and will present their work in an exhibition opening Sept. 9, 2015, at the AGO. Voting begins in person at the AGO upon the exhibition’s opening and on the Prize’s website on Sept. 15, 2015.

The 2015 finalists, including one Canadian, are:

  • Dave Jordano (USA)
  • Annette Kelm (Germany)
  • Owen Kydd (Canada)
  • Hito Steyerl (Germany)

A jury of three experts selected the four finalists from a long list of 27 artists who each showed extraordinary potential. Headed by Adelina Vlas, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, the jury included Deputy Director and Senior Curator of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto João Ribas and acclaimed Paris-based artist Mohamed Bourouissa.

“This year’s long list was very impressive. It included an exciting range of artists from around the world, highlighting diverse approaches to the lens-based image,” said Vlas. “We were drawn to these four finalists for the distinctive visual force and rigour of their work but also for the ways they each address historical and philosophical questions about image-making today. We are excited to showcase their work in Toronto this fall and to award them the opportunity to develop new projects and create new connections through their residencies.”

Dave Jordano was born in Detroit in 1948 and currently lives and works in Chicago. He received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies in 1974 and has worked as a successful commercial photographer since 1977. Jordano returned to fine art photography in 2001, when he began the series Chicago Bridge Project. In 2010, responding to the negative press coverage of his hometown, Jordano begun a photographic series bearing “witness to what has survived and those who are left to cope with it.” Entitled Detroit- Unbroken Down, the series will be the subject of a Powerhouse Books publication due in the fall of 2015. Jordano’s photographs are held in several public, private and corporate collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Annette Kelm was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1979 and currently lives and works in Berlin. Her large colour prints express a research-based interest in cultural history and the history of photography. In Kelm’s hands, photography is not just a documentary tool, but an active, agitating, productive force, wherein objects, textiles and people assume a sculptural identity. Kelm’s work has been exhibited at Kunsthalle Zürich, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco, the 54th Venice Biennale, the Aspen Art Museum and MoMA PS1, among countless other institutions and galleries. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Owen Kydd was born in Calgary in 1975. Kydd has a bachelor’s degree in film and art from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and a master’s degree from UCLA in Los Angeles, where he currently lives and works. Kydd refers to his work as “durational photography,” mounting and framing short video loops using a lightbox format. Oscillating between the static and the moving image, his work investigates contemporary definitions of the picture, questioning the significance of these classifications. Kydd’s work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Oakville Galleries, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, FOAM Museum Amsterdam and the Daegu Photo Biennale in Korea, among others.

Hito Steyerl was born in Munich in 1966 and lives and works in Berlin. A filmmaker, writer, photographer and teacher, Steyerl holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and is currently a professor of New Media Art at the Berlin University of the Arts. Steyerl’s art often takes the form of video essays composed of exhaustive research, montage, first-person voiceovers and interviews. While her subjects vary, her work is consistently based on the premise that we are always implicated, consciously and unconsciously, in the stories that we tell. She has had recent solo exhibitions at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and at the ICA, London. Currently her new work Factory of the Sun is included in the German Pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale.

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize has a total annual prize value of more than C$100,000, with C$50,000 awarded to the winner, C$5,000 awarded to each of the other shortlisted artists and C$25,000 supporting a national scholarship program for students studying photography at select institutions across Canada. The remainder funds six-week residencies across Canada for the four shortlisted artists.

“I’m proud and delighted that the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize has become so much more than an art prize,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “With each year, the program deepens, offering the shortlisted artists and the scholarship winners very tangible connections to the wider, international photography community. I extend congratulations to the artists of this year’s shortlist, and look forward to seeing the impact their work will have, inside the AGO’s walls and far beyond.”

“Aimia supports a number of Canadian arts and culture initiatives as part of our commitment to supporting the communities where we operate. We are especially proud of our partnership with the AGO, and the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize in particular that shines a light on the burgeoning talent in contemporary photography,” says Vince Timpano, President and CEO of Aimia in Canada. “The works from these shortlisted photographers is absolutely remarkable and we wish each of them the best of luck.”

The winner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is chosen entirely by public vote. Voting begins in person at the AGO upon the exhibition’s opening on Sept. 9, 2015, and on the Prize’s website on Sept. 15, 2015, and closes at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 29, 2015. The winner, who will be announced on Dec. 1, 2015, receives C$50,000.

Previous winners of the Prize include American 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).

For updates on the Prize, further details on the shortlisted artists and additional information, please visit and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.

View video interviews with the finalists and continue the conversation at

Aimia, a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, has adopted two fundamental principles of loyalty, trust and reciprocity, as the pillars of its global social purpose — to create mutually beneficial partnerships that leave a lasting impact in our communities. As an enthusiastic patron of the Arts, Aimia supports many Canadian and International arts and culture initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. Aimia has supported several Canadian cultural organizations including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Canada Institute, Business for the Arts, Canadian Art Foundation, the National Gallery of Canada, Luminato Festival, the Walrus Foundation and Canada’s presentation at the International Art and Architecture Venice Biennale since 2006. Aimia is proud to engage in a dialogue around the arts through the Aimia l AGO Photography Prize and scholarship program, and through our office art installations in Montreal and Toronto. Visit us at to learn more.

With a collection of more than 90,000 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 Ken 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, 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.

April 11 – Aug. 9, 2015: From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia

June 20 – Sept. 20, 2015: Picturing the Americas

Oct. 31, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016: J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free

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.