Julya Hajnoczky Wins the Prefix Prize

Julya Hajnoczky, detail from “Kalmia angustifolia,” 2023, from At the Last Judgement, We Will All Be Trees. Courtesy the artist.

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is excited to announce that the winner of the fourth annual Prefix Prize is Julya Hajnoczky. A native of Calgary, Alberta, where she currently resides, Hajnoczky is a contemporary artist who privileges photography within a broader multidisciplinary practice. The prize, which is juried by a panel of art and photography professionals, is a core programme of the Contact Photography Festival.

As the recipient of the Prefix Prize, Julya Hajnoczky receives an exhibition, a publication and a cash prize of $5,000.00 CA. The exhibition, which is presented at Urbanspace Gallery, features selections from At the Last Judgement, We Will All Be Trees (2017, ongoing), an extensive series of archival inkjet prints that redraws the techniques of the photogram for the twenty-first century, transforming botanical specimens into representations of an ecosystem. The associated publication P.S.–4.1, which is the seventh in this series of exhibition catalogues produced by Prefix ICA, features an essay by Scott McLeod. Exclusively digital and entirely free, it is available for downloading from www.prefix.ca, effective May 15th.

The exhibition The Prefix Prize by Julya Hajnoczky, curated by Scott McLeod with the Prefix Prize jury, opens to the public on Friday, May 3, 2024, at Urbanspace Gallery, located at 401 Richmond Street West, Ground Floor, Toronto. Gallery hours are from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. Admission is free. The exhibition continues until Saturday, July 27, 2024.

Running concurrently with this exhibition is Aurora Arborealis, a complementary exhibition by Julya Hajnaczky, curated by David Reed and presented at Riverdale Hub. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, from 2 PM to 4 PM, at 1326 Gerrard Street East, Toronto. The artist and curator will be present. Gallery hours are from Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Admission is free. The exhibition continues until June 1, 2024. For more information, please visit riverdalehub.ca.

With respect to public programmes, an artist talk by Julya Hajnoczky will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 3 PM at Riverdale Hub, 1326 Gerrard Street East, Toronto. Presented by Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art and Riverdale Hub in partnership with the Contact Photography Festival. To register, please click here. And a curator tour will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 1 PM at Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto. Presented by Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in partnership with the Contact Photography Festival and Urbanspace Gallery on the occasion of Doors Open Toronto.

The Prefix Prize is presented by Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in partnership with the Contact Photography Festival, Underline Studio and Urbanspace Gallery, along with founding partner, Partners in Art.

About the Artist

Julya Hajnoczky is a contemporary artist based in Calgary. Equipped with a camper and workspace known as the Al Fresco Science Machine, she has explored numerous Canadian ecosystems, from Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta to the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve in British Columbia and Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories. She has completed artist residencies at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (Vancouver), Point Pelee National Park in Ontario and Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland, among others. Her exhibitions include the Art Gallery of St. Albert (St. Albert, AB), Esplanade Art Gallery (Medicine Hat, AB) and Tilted Brick Gallery (Creston, BC). She is represented by Christine Klassen Gallery (Calgary).

About the Prefix Prize

Launched in 2021, the Prefix Prize is awarded annually to a photographic artist of any nationality. Designed to honour artists at any stage of their careers who have yet to receive the recognition they deserve, the prize consists of an exhibition, a publication, and a cash award of $5,000.00.

This year’s prize was juried by eight photography experts, including Katya García-Antón, director and chief curator, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum; Michelle Jacques, head of exhibitions and collections/chief curator, Remai Modern; Ritu Kanal, designer, Underline Studio; Scott McLeod, director and curator, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art; Heather Canlas Rigg, artistic director, Contact Photography Festival; Jennifer Young and Caroline Laxton, co-chairs, Project Development, Partners in Art; and Jane Zeidler, art consultant. In addition to choosing the recipient of this year’s prize, the jury recognized Alnis Stakle with an honourable mention. An artist and professor of photography at Riga Stradins University in Riga, Latvia, Stakle manipulates and prints found family photographs on original documents from the Soviet era in order to speak to that which is both remembered and forgotten within collective memory. Stakle receives a cash award of $500.00.

The fifth annual Prefix Prize will be awarded in May 2025. The dates for the submission of entries to the fifth annual Prefix Prize will be announced in May 2024.

About Prefix ICA

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is a registered charitable organization, based in Toronto, that fosters the appreciation and understanding of contemporary photographic, media and digital arts through exhibitions, publications, public programmes and related activities.

Acknowledgements

For their support of the Prefix Prize, Prefix ICA gratefully acknowledges presentation partners, the Contact Photography Festival, Underline Studio and Urbanspace Gallery, and founding partner, Partners in Art. Prefix also gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts.

For more information, please contact Prefix ICA at prize@prefix.ca.

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