Every year, the Prize recognizes four artists working in photography who have exhibited extraordinary potential over the last five years. The artists are chosen via an international nomination process. The AGO invites curators, critics and artists from around the world to nominate two artists each for the long list. A jury of three, led by an AGO curator, consider the long list to select the shortlist.
Sophie Hackett is the Curator, Photography, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and adjunct faculty in Ryerson University’s master’s program in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management. She continues to write for art magazines, international journals and artist monographs, including “Queer Looking: Joan E. Biren’s Slide Shows” in Aperture (spring 2015) and “Encounters in the Museum: The Experience of Photographic Objects” in the edited volume The “Public” Life of Photographs (Ryerson Image Centre and MIT Press, 2016). Hackett’s curatorial projects during her tenure at the AGO include Barbara Kruger: Untitled (It) (2010); Songs of the Future: Canadian Industrial Photographs, 1858 to Today (2011); Max Dean: Album, A Public Project (2012); What It Means To be Seen: Photography and Queer Visibility and Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography (2014); Introducing Suzy Lake (2014); and Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s (2016). In 2017, she was a Fellow with the Center for Curatorial Leadership. She is the lead juror for the 2017 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, a role she also held in 2014, 2010 and 2012.
Vancouver-born artist Ken Lum, is known worldwide for his conceptual and representational art in a number of media, including painting, sculpture and photography. A long-time professor, he currently is the Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design in Philadelphia. He has also taught at UBC in Vancouver where he was Head of Graduate Studio Fine Arts. A founding editor of the Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, he has published extensively, including an artist’s book project he co-conceived with philosopher Hubert Damisch. He has an active and long art exhibition record including Documenta 11, the Venice Biennale, Sao Paolo Bienal, Shanghai Biennale, Carnegie Triennial, Sydney Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, Gwangju Biennale among others. He has had solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe, National Gallery of Canada and Vancouver Art Gallery. Lum has also been involved in co-conceiving and co-curating several large scale exhibitions including Shanghai Modern: 1919 – 1949, Sharjah Biennial 2007, and the NorthWest Annual. Since the mid 1990s, Lum has worked on numerous major permanent public art commissions including for the cities of Vienna, the Engadines (Switzerland), Rotterdam, St. Louis, Leiden, Utrecht, Toronto and Vancouver. He has also realized temporary public art commissions in Stockholm, Istanbul, Torun (Poland), Innsbruck and Kansas City. He is currently working on several public art projects including for Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Yaounde (Cameroon). He is currently working on a major city-wide public art and architecture exhibition titled Monument Lab for the city of Philadelphia.
Eva Respini is the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. There, she has organized Liz Deschenes and Nalini Malani: In Search of Vanished Blood, as well as First Light: A Decade of Collecting at the ICA, a major exhibition of the permanent collection marking the ICA/Boston's 10th year of collecting in the Diller Scofidio + Renfro building on Boston's waterfront. Respini previously served as Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, where she organized the critically acclaimed retrospectives Cindy Sherman, Robert Heinecken: Object Matter, and Walid Raad, as well as exhibitions with artists Klara Liden, Anne Collier, Leslie Hewitt, and Akram Zaatari. Over the course of her 15-year tenure at MoMA, Respini organized major retrospectives as well as important thematic exhibitions such as Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography and Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960. She is the author of Cindy Sherman (2012); Robert Heinecken: Object Matter (2014); Walid Raad (2015); Liz Deschenes (2016); and the thematic books Fashioning Fiction in Photography since 1990 (2004) and Into the Sunset: Photography’s Image of the American West (2008). Respini has held the position of Visiting Critic at both the School of Visual Arts at Columbia University and the School of Art at Yale University. In 2014, she was a Fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York. Respini received a Master of Arts in Modern Art and Critical Theory from Columbia University.
Eder Chiodetto (b. 1965, Brazil) is an independent curator of photography, journalist, teacher and publisher of Fotô Editorial, a publishing house of photobooks and has a Masters in Communication and Arts by University of São Paulo. As an independent curator, he has presented exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, such as Mythologies - Brazilian Contemporary Photography (Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, 2012); Éloge du Vertige (Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, 2012); Generation 00 - The New Brazilian Photography (Sesc Belenzinho, São Paulo, 2011), Look and Simulate - Photographies from Collection Auer (MAM-SP, 2009), The Invention of the World - Collection of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (Itaú Cultural, 2009, with Jean Luc Monterosso), Provisional Power (MAM-SP, 2014). Since 2011, Chiodetto has coordinated Ateliê Fotô, which supports the development of experimental contemporary photography. He lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Magnolia De La Garza
Magnolia de la Garza is the Deputy Director at Coppel Collection. She studied Art History at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Museum Studies at École du Louvre, and at Paris 1, Paris-Sorbonne in Paris. From 2009 to 2013, she was Associate Curator at the Museo Tamayo where she curated exhibitions of Monika Sosnowska, Michael Stevenson, Pia Rönicke, Amalia Pica, and Carlos Amorales. She was the curator of the XVI Bienal de Fotografía del Centro de la Imagen in Mexico. Since 2014 she is deputy director of CIAC collection in Mexico City.
David Hartt (b. 1967, Montréal) lives and works in Philadelphia where he is an Assistant Professor, in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Recent solo exhibitions include, The Art Institute of Chicago, LA>
Virginia Heckert joined the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty in 2005 and is currently Curator and Department Head. She has organized exhibitions on Sigmar Polke, August Sander, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Irving Penn, and Ed Ruscha from the Getty’s collection, and collaborated with other institutions to present exhibitions on the photographs of Lyonel Feininger and the Bauhaus and of Ray K. Metzker and the Institute of Design. Most recently she organized Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography (2015), with accompanying catalog. She has also published monographs on Judy Fiskin, Irving Penn, and Ed Ruscha, and contributed to publications on Candida Höfer, Franz Roh, and Weegee. Prior to joining the Getty Museum, she was the inaugural Curator of Photography at the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach, FL), and had year-long fellowships at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum (New York) and the Berlinische Galerie (Germany). She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University (New York) with a dissertation on the German modernist photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch.
Hicham Khalidi is currently an associate curator for Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris, where he is involved in commissioning works in art, design and fashion. He is also an interlocutor curator of ACT II for the Sharjah Biennale 13 in Beirut and developing other exhibitions for a.o. Bozar in Brussels and the province of Flemish-Brabant. Khalidi was also one of the attachés of the 20th Sydney Biennale and curator of the 5th Marrakech Biennale. From 2013 - 2015 he was the head of exhibitions at STUK Art Centre in Leuven (Belgium). Hicham Khalidi is a member of the board of q-02, Overtoon and SPIN, centres and collectives for contemporary music, performance and theatre based in Brussels. Khalidi lives in Brussels, and splits his time working in Paris and Rabat.
Jeong Eun Kim
Jeong Eun Kim is an independent curator based in Seoul, South Korea. Founder and chief editor for the acclaimed bi-annual contemporary art photography magazine, IANN, she has worked extensively in the field of photography including as chief coordinator for the Daegu Photo Biennale 2012 and curator of the Seoul Photo Festival 2010. Currently she teaches at Kaywon University of Art and Design, while pursuing her Ph.D. at Middlesex University in London.
Since the fall 2016, Luce Lebart is the Director of the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. From 2011 to 2016, Lebart was Director of collections and curator at the Société Française de Photographie, the oldest photographic society in France, founded in Paris in 1854. She is the author of several books, including Mold is Beautiful, Lady Liberty, Stains and Traces, First photosensitive tests by Hippolyte Bayard and Les Silences d’Atget (Atget’s Silences), as well as a number of articles in fields such as meteorological and forensic photography and the history of archiving and data basis. As a curator, Lebart has organized numerous exhibitions including La Guerre des Gosses (Kids at War), Rencontres d’Arles (2014) and Panthéon (2016); Souvenirs du Sphinx (Memories of the Sphinx), Rencontres d’Arles (2015); Taches et Traces (Stains and Traces, First photosensitive tests by Hippolyte Bayard), Photaumnales, Beauvais (2015); Illuminations, Foto/Industria, Bologna (2015); Images à Charge (Images of conviction), with Diane Dufour, and, in 2016 Lady Liberty, with Sam Stourdzé and Photography and abstraction in Brasil in the 1950's.
Sarah Lewis is an author, curator, and Assistant Professor at Harvard University. She is the guest editor of the acclaimed “Vision & Justice” edition of Aperture and author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America and publications for the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, M. Phil from Oxford, and Ph.D. from Yale. She has held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Modern.
Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, and community organizer. She is the Assistant Curator of Canadian and Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has been published Women in a Globalizing World: Equality, Development, Diversity and Peace and This is an Honour Song: Twenty Years since the Blockades and co-edited York University’s InTensions journal on The Resurgence of Indigenous Women’s Knowledge and Resistance in Relation to Land and Territoriality, as well as catalogue essays on Jeff Thomas, Adrian Stimson, Rebecca Belmore and more. She has a master’s in visual studies from the University of Toronto and has taught doctoral courses on Indigenous history and politics at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She was the 2013 Dame Nita Barrow Distinguished Visitor at University of Toronto.
Paul Roth is Director of the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Previously, he served as Senior Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and as Executive Director of The Richard Avedon Foundation in New York. Roth has organized numerous exhibitions and film series, including Scotiabank Photography Award: Mark Ruwedel (2015); Edward Burtynsky: Oil (2009), Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power (2008), Sally Mann: What Remains (2004), and I…Dreaming: The Visionary Cinema of Stan Brakhage (National Gallery of Art, 2002). Among his writings are: Gordon Parks, from the series Photo Poche (Actes Sud, 2013); Gordon Parks: Collected Works (Steidl, 2012); “Unholy Trinity” in Richard Avedon: Murals and Portraits (Gagosian, 2012); and Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power (Steidl/Corcoran, 2008).
Aveek Sen was awarded the 2009 Infinity Award for Writing on Photography by the International Center of Photography, New York. He is Associate Editor for The Telegraph, Calcutta, where he writes a column called “Art & Life” and reviews books and art exhibitions. He has studied English literature at University College, Oxford, with a Rhodes Scholarship, and Jadavpur University, Calcutta. He was lecturer in English at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford. He writes on the intersections among art, literature, cinema, photography, music and everyday life and has collaborated with artists like Roni Horn (The Sensation of Sadness at Having Slept Through a Shower of Meteors), Dayanita Singh (House of Love, File Room, Museum of Chance, Museum Bhavan), Moyra Davey (Hemlock Forest), Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, On Kawara (Pure Consciousness) and Fazal Sheikh (Ether). He was a curatorial attaché for the 2016 Biennale of Sydney. He is based in Calcutta, India.
Michelle Jacques is the Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where she is responsible for guiding an exhibition, education and acquisitions program that links contemporary practices, ideas and issues to the Gallery's historical collections and legacies. Prior to moving west, she held various curatorial positions in the Contemporary and Canadian departments of the Art Gallery of Ontario, ultimately that of Acting Curator, Canadian Art, and from 2002-2004, she was the Director of Programming at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax. The emphasis in her practice is theoretical rather than medium-based, however her interest in issues of identity, gender and cross-cultural conversations has led to work with many lens-based artists over the course of her 20-year curatorial career.
Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska is the curator at the Photography Department at Centre Pompidou National Museum of Modern Art. Between 1999-2010, she was the curator at Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. Ziebinska-Lewandowska was also co-founder of the Archeology of Photography Foundation, Warsaw, and its president until 2014. She is the author of over forty exhibitions and catalogues, including : She-Documentalists – Polish Woman Documentary Photographers of the 20th Century (2008), Zbigniew Dlubak – Body Structures (2013), Wojciech Zamecznik – Photo-Graphics (2016) or Brassaï - Graffiti (2016).