AIMIA Photography Prize 2014: Laurie Simmons in Conversation with Sheila Heti

Aimia AGO Photography Prize

AIMIA Photography Prize 2014: Laurie Simmons in Conversation with Sheila Heti

November 15, 2014, 2-3:30pm
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

Join renowned American photographer and video artist Laurie Simmons, juror for the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, as she discusses her work with acclaimed Toronto-based writer Sheila Heti. Building on a rich conversation between the two artists that was published in Interview Magazine earlier this year, Heti and Simmons will touch upon Simmons early days in the 1970s Soho art world through to her more recent work in a wide-raging discussion about art and life. 

Laurie Simmons stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Simmons’ work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to art-making, transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. She has received many awards, including the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome (2005), and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1984). She has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Baltimore Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art, California; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and she has participated in two Whitney Biennial exhibitions (1985, 1991) and was included in the 2013 Venice Biennial. Her work is represented in many noted collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

Sheila Heti recently published the novel How Should a Person Be? which was nominated for The Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly The Orange Prize) and named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Salon and other places. She lives in Toronto and is the author of four other books of fiction and non-fiction, and one book for kids. She has written for The London Review of Books, n+1, Harper's and more, and is a contributing editor at The Believer magazine. She frequently collaborates with other artists and writers. This fall, Heti published Women in Clothes, a anthology she edited with Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton, which explores the wide range of motives that inform how women present themselves through clothes.

For more information about the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, visit

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