Entertainment

Canadian, Indian photographers up for $50K prize

Four female photographers are competing for the 2011 Grange Prize, Canada's most lucrative photography prize.

Four female photographers are competing for the 2011 Grange Prize, Canada's most lucrative photography prize. 

Two of the artists are from Canada and two are from this year's partner country, India. 

A nominating jury of photography experts chose the short list of four, but regular people will make the final pick. The $50,000 prize is the only major Canadian art prize determined by public vote.

Starting Tuesday, the work of the four nominees will be on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario as well as on the Grange Prize website.

This year's nominees are all female photographers born in the 1970s:

  • Winnipeg-raised Elaine Stocki.
  • Vancouver-based Althea Thauberger.
  • Chennai-born Nandini Valli.
  • Delhi-based Gauri Gill.

Their styles and subjects run the range of human experience, with imagery ranging from a blue-skinned god in a drab hotel room to stern-looking women standing nude behind sports cars.

"The artists shortlisted for the Grange Prize this year share a fascination with the human subject and, in particular, concepts of personal identity, performativity and social politics," said Michelle Jacques, member of the four-person nomination jury and acting curator of Canadian art at the AGO.

In previous years, the Grange Prize has showcased photography from the United States, Mexico and China. Past winners include Mexican photographer Marco Antonio and Canadians Kristan Horton and Sarah Anne Johnson.

The public has until October 23 to cast their ballots online or in person at the AGO in Toronto. The victor will receive the prize at a November reception at the Toronto gallery. The remaining three nominees will receive $5,000 each.

now