Waldron received a cash prize of $ 5,000, while LaBrecque received one of $7,500. Each artist also received $2,500 to organize a solo exhibition, and the Ville de Montréal will acquire an artwork from each for its collection.
Waldron, who graduated from NSCAD with her BFA in 2003, is known for innovative works in self-portraiture. For instance, her recent 2013 publication The Do-It-Yourself Cookbook documented Waldron hunting a rabbit, slaughtering a pig, butchering meats and cooking meals as part of a project that investigated our societal disconnect from food production. In an early 2003 project titled Working Assumption, Waldron asked male strangers in Paris if she could borrow their clothes and workspaces for an hour; she then proceeded to photograph herself in the role of those men.
In May of this year, Waldron also won the 2013 Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art from Concordia University, where she recently completed her MFA. That two-year award is valued at approximately $55,000.
Manon Labrecque is known for works in performance, photography, sound and installation that reflect upon the body, physical sensations, movement and the corporeal. In a 2012 exhibition at Vu Photo, for example, she exhibited one work, Les Traversées, which situated a small, wall-mounted sculpture of her body amid projections of various scenes and landscapes. In her 2009 video Interview (with a celebrity), LaBrecque depicted herself recording the sounds of everyday objects, such as a tomato plant.
LaBrecque’s art was included in the 2008 Quebec Triennial, and in 2009 she won the $5,000 Prix Graff, created in memory of Pierre Ayot. She studied art at l’Université de Montréal and contemporary dance at UQAM.
This year’s jury for both awards—which are jointly awarded by Association des galeries d’art contemporain and Ville de Montréal—was composed of Geneviève Goyer-Ouimet, director of Circa; Lesley Johnstone, curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Bernard Lamarche, curator of contemporary art the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Gilles Daigneault, director of the Molinari Foundation; and Pierre Blanchette, artist.
Works by the winners and finalists are on display at Maison de la culture Frontenac in Montreal until January 19, 2014.