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The Grange Finalists

As promised earlier in the week, there’s much more to say about the Grange Prize finalists now showing at the AGO until November 27th. Check out their website to whet your appetite.

Though my vote went to Gauri Gill (below),

photographers like Nandini Valli and Elaine Stiocki are well worth seeing. Nandini Valli in particular has a set of colourful and exciting portraits that cross the line between portraiture and performance. In her work titled the “Definitive Reincarnate” she creates portraits that emphasize performance in everyday life. Looking to create images that are accessible to her audience, she works with models whom she knows personally, performing everyday emotions in the guise of familiar characters from her culture.

These beautifully imagined and executed photos, such as Seated_1 (right) capture the timelessness of human experiences as imagined within her traditions. Definitely definitive. Definitely reincarnate. She was a close, close second for my vote.

In her work with children, she playfully presents them in familiar terms – as double portraits – firstly as kids play-acting personages from Indian politics, religion and culture, and secondly as portraits of parents representing themselves through their children.

Who’s your kid going as? Indira? Mine’s gonna be Shiva (below)

Elaine Stocki is a Winnipeg photographer with a knack for grabbing raw, simple and engaging action photos. There’s a real passion in her work for the lively and the authentic. My two favourites were Balcony and Jeff, both taken in 2009

 

Vancouverite Althea Thalberger is the The fourth photographer in the group. Her heady work considers the portrait of groups in which she “invites subjects to develop performances that offer opportunities for self-expression”. Her work will interest those who like the mixture of art with identity, modern politics and semiotics, and so isn’t something that floors me. But the work is wonderfully done and worth seeing.

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