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3 Artists Shortlisted for $50K Scotiabank Photo Award

Rodney Graham, Mark Ruwedel, and Donald Weber have been shortlisted for the $50,000 Scotiabank Photography Award. The award is billed as “Canada’s largest annual peer reviewed award honouring the work of contemporary Canadian photographers.”

Included in the current Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, Vancouver’s Rodney Graham is known of late for photographic works in which he performs archetypes that vary from aging punks to retro photo clerks. Earlier in this career, he also created photographs in which trees were inverted—prints that reflected the experience of one of his first site-specific works, in which he turned a shed into a camera obscura. Graham is also known for his work in sculpture, music and installation. Recently, he proposed to install an 18th-century-style chandelier under the Granville Street Bridge, and in October he performed with Kim Gordon during Frieze Art Week in London. In 1997, Graham represented Canada at the Venice Biennale.

Donald Weber, originally trained as an architect, takes a distinctive and artful approach to documentary photography that studies power, war and generational change. He has won many awards for his work, including a National Magazine Award for his project Quniqjuk, Qunbuq, Quabaa in the Fall 2011 issue of Canadian Art. In that project, Weber photographed residents of the far north using only the light from their electronic devices. His project The Drunken Bride, Russia Unveiled was completed with a Guggenheim Fellowship. And his project Interrogations, which documented the Eastern European underworld, was published in the Fall 2010 issue of Canadian Art. Currently, the Toronto-based photographer is working on his next project, War Sand, about historic sacrifice and the meaning of war in our modern world.

Mark Ruwedel of Montreal first became interested in photography while studying painting at Kutztown State College, Pennsylvania. Ruwedel’s photographic interests are found in the contemporary landscape and the nature/culture dynamic, photographing in both black-and-white and colour. His photographs of structures in the desert were featured in the 2012 Canadian Biennial, and Ruwedel’s latest book Pictures of Hell will be released this fall.

The winner of the Scotiabank Photography Award receives a cash prize of $50,000, a book of their work to be published by Steidl of Germany, and a major solo exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre as part of next year’s Contact Photography Festival. The two shortlisted artists receive cash prizes of $5,000.

The jurors for this year’s prize have been NSCAD professor and artist Robert Bean; Canadian Cultural Centre deputy director Catherine Bédard; and National Gallery of Canada curator Ann Thomas.

The winner will be announced on April 29, 2014, at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto.

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