Jason Evans, A long, long Time AGO / Development / Erin, Jane, Teresa, Lisa, Norah, Angela, Will, Katia, Carlie, 2012
Jason Evans: A long, long time AGO
In a series of lively and humourous portraits created for the 2013 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, British photographer Jason Evans brings into view the broad range of people working at the AGO. Though art galleries are rich repositories of art objects, Evans highlights those who, at every level, participate in bringing the stories about those objects to life. His title, A long, long time AGO, cues this behind-the-scenes story.
Evans created twelve group portraits of employees from various departments, including Conservation, Development, Facilities, Kitchen, Media Productions and Protection Services. He collaborated with each group in an environment unrelated to its actual job — the kitchen staff in Jackman Hall, for instance. Each person posed doing a favourite leisure activity and Evans then built compositions — essentially, human sculptures — from these elements. The playful and complex collectivities in each portrait charge the Gallery’s people, places and public perceptions with a new dynamism.
Several of these portraits will appear on the AGO’s Dundas Street façade, dioramas of the life within the institution. The full series of twelve will be presented inside the Gallery.