AGO First Thursdays – November 7, 2013

Photo by Zaki Ibrahim

AGO First Thursdays – November 7, 2013

November 7, 2013
Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario

November’s First Thursday will feature all things photography related, culminating in the special presentation of the $50,000 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize in Walker Court. All four nominees will be present for the announcement, which will feature special presentations by local personalities about each of the artists. The night will be capped off with a by 2013 Polaris Music Prize nominee Zaki Ibrahim, whose performance at last month's Polaris gala was called "heartbreakingly good, with wicked choreography and an incredible voice" by the Toronto Standard.

Photography-related artist projects, pop-up talks, and art making activities will fill the galleries, alongside delicious snacks available at our food stations, tasty drinks and DJs. Highlights include a pop-up talk with 2013 Sobey Award-winner Duane Linklater, an unforgettable performance by the artist Zeesy Powers, and the debut of an intervention into the AGO’s Canadian Collection by Meryl McMaster.

Plus, we’ll be opening a special lounge in honour of the exhibition David Bowie is, featuring DJ VAG HALEN and a collection of Bowie inspired .gif art curated by the artist Lorna Mills. David Bowie is will be on view for a special First Thursday upgrade price of $15.


Globally distinguished singer Zaki Ibrahim is a multitalented storyteller, performing artist, director, choreographer, fashion icon and vocalist. Her most recent release, Every Opposite, was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize and was described as “quietly defiant and demanding to be heard” by NOW Magazine in a NNNN review. Zaki has drawn extensive praise for her stage show; for her, the visuals must be as expressive as the music is. Transporting audiences to new and forgotten territories is a central part of the Zaki experience.

AimiaAGOPrize, FirstThursdays


Join presenters Ken Montague, Jeremy Laing and others live in Walker Court at 8:30 pm for the presentation of the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, Canada's largest photography prize and one of the largest art and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than $85,000 CAD in cash prizes each year directly to artists working in contemporary photography whose work exhibits extraordinary potential. Beyond the cash prizes, the program is comprised of an annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), an online exhibition at, artist residencies, and a national scholarship program. All four nominees will be in attendance.


Zeesy Powers: I Will Tell You Exactly What I Think of You
What do people see when they look at you? Why do you want to know? What does it matter? Zeesy Powers will give you the opportunity to find out. The artist will offer a chair to visitors who would like to sit across from the artist and receive cold reading, hearing exactly what the artist sees and feels about the subject across from her.

Meryl McMaster: Victoria
Part of the Canadian department’s ongoing program of interventions in the permanent collection galleries, McMaster’s compelling “self-portrait” Victoria will be installed near works by Lawren Harris and Emily Carr. From her In-Between Worlds series, a group of images that explore, perform and confront issues of cultural hybridity. The work is being positioned in relation to two iconic works emphasizing that questions of identity remain central to Canadian art.

Diane Borsato: Field Pack
In this intervention in the Canadian galleries, the AGO’s current artist-in-residence, Diane Borsato, presents us with contents from her personal field pack. The collection proposes a bushwhacker persona that is an alternative to Fred B. Housser’s defining of the Group of Seven. It complicates accepted tropes of Canadian identity and points to contemporary artistic practices that are research-intensive, site-responsive and social.


Meet the Artist: Sobey Award-winner Duane Linkater
Brian Jungen and 2013 Sobey Award-winner Duane Linklater’s collaborative film Modest Livelihood (2012) is making its Ontario premier this October at the AGO. Join Linklater for a brief conversation about the making of the work, which is concerned with the use and self-determination of native land. More on the installation here.

Meet the Curator: Andrew Hunter on Meryl McMaster
As part of the Canadian department’s ongoing program of interventions in the permanent collection galleries, Meryl McMaster’s Victoria will be installed in dialogue with works by Lawren Harris and Emily Carr.  Join Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Fredrik S.Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, to hear his perspective on the work.


Visit the Marvin Gelber Print and Drawing Study Centre to see photographs from the 19th and early-20th centuries that complement and contextualize the works of this year’s AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize nominees. Artist featured include Alexander Henderson, Arthur Rothstein, and Reva Brooks. Plus, stereographs will be on hand to help you see an image of the moon in 3D!


Instagram #MyAGO
Hit us with your best shot. Visitors are invited to take photographs of their favourite feature of the AGO and share it on their Instagram account with the hashtag #MyAGO. The best photographs will be displayed on big screens in Walker Court throughout the night.

Family Photo Collage
Sift through a collection of hundreds of old photographs amassed through the AGO’s 2012 project with Toronto artist Max Dean, titled Album. Choose the photographs that you respond to and create your own unique photocollage inspired by the artists nominated for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.


It wouldn't be a First Thursday without some of Toronto's hottest DJs. Join DJ Mama Knows in Walker Court, DJ Ding Dong in Galleria Italia, and DJ VAG HALEN in the Stardust Lounge.


Get Ziggy with it in our Stardust lounge, featuring DJ VAG HALEN spinning and projections of .gifs specially created and curated by Toronto media artist Lorna Mills and including works by Anthony Antonellis, Andrew Benson, Max Capacity, Gaby Cepeda, Dafna Ganani, Mattie Hillock, George Jacotey, Luc Hyo Myoung Kim, Claudia Mate, Alex Mcleod, Rea McNamara, Rosa Menkman, Eva Papamargariti, Yoshi Sodeoka, Rodell Warner, and Sarah Weiss.


Enjoy one-of-a-kind cocktails with Drambuie – A Taste of the Extraordiary, grab a pint of Grolsch Premium Lager in Galleria Italia and taste the delectable snacks and drinks available at stations around the gallery. Highlights of the November menu include Fish and Chips, Cronuts, Braised Shortrib Shepherd’s Pie, delicious Flavoured Popcorn and House-made Gelato.

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