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"These 23 artists represent the leading edge of photo-based work across six continents, offering a truly global snapshot of photography today," AGO director Matthew Teitelbaum said of the 2014 contenders. (AGO Photographic Resources/Art Gallery of Ontario)

Nearly two dozen photo artists from six continents are in the running for the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, the annual $50,000 award celebrating photography and video.

Organizers unveiled today the long list for the prize, which is decided by public vote and honours living artists who have created extraordinary work over the past five years.

"I'm delighted by the scope and breadth of this year's long list," AGO director Matthew Teitelbaum said in a statement, adding that the innovative, boundary-pushing contenders offer "a truly global snapshot of photography today."

The 23 semi-finalists, including six Canadians, are:

  • Takashi Arai of Japan.
  • Raymond Boisjoly of Canada.
  • Rodrigo Braga of Brazil.
  • Elina Brotherus of Finland.
  • Talia Chetrit of the U.S.
  • Robyn Cumming of Canada.
  • Chris Curreri of Canada.
  • Pradeep Dalal of India.
  • Lucas Foglia of the U.S.
  • David Hartt of Canada.
  • Jean-Paul Kelly of Canada.
  • Meiro Koizumi of Japan.
  • Owen Kydd of Canada.
  • Elad Lassry of Israel.
  • Angelica Mesiti of Australia.
  • Sabelo Mlangeni of South Africa.
  • Nandipha Mntambo of South Africa.
  • Lisa Oppenheim of the U.S.
  • Anna Ostoya of Poland.
  • Birthe Piontek of Germany.
  • Andrea Robbins & Max Becher of the U.S. and Germany, respectively.
  • Martin Weber of Chile.

A three-member panel of international photography experts — AGO associate photography curator Sophie Hackett, U.S. artist Laurie Simmons and Nigerian-born curator and scholar Okwui Enwezor — must now whittle the list down to four finalists. Each receives a six-week residency in Canada and an exhibition of his or her work at the AGO beginning in September.

The four shortlisted artists will be unveiled and public online voting will begin Aug. 13, with the winner to be announced at a ceremony on Oct. 29.

Originally established as the Grange Prize, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize has previously been won by Canadian artist Erin Shirreff, British photographer Jo Longhurst, India's Gauri Gill, Mexico's Marco Antonio Cruz and Canadian artist Kristan Horton.