Alumnus Amy Elkins (BFA 2007 Photography) has been awarded the prestigious Aperture Portfolio Prize for 2014. After reviewing over 1,000 portfolios, Aperture’s editorial and curatorial staff narrowed it down to just five finalists, including renowned photographers Matt Eich, Davide Monteleone, Max Pinckers and Sadie Wechsler. Elkins took the prize for her two bodies of work that explore capital punishment.
In “Black is the Day, Black is the Night,” a series of her correspondences with death-row inmates coupled with their obscured portraits, text from the letters and digitally pixelated images correspond with each inmate’s incarceration time. Similarly, “Parting Words,” examines finality in abbreviated narratives comprised of an inmate’s last words transposed on reconstructed portraits of the executed.
From Aperture: “The formal framework that Elkins has adopted underscores the depersonalization of incarceration and the systems sustaining capital punishment. It also heightens the sense of terrifying yet relatable banality contained within these images, an eerie recognition and identification with the human form evoked from otherwise raw, impersonal images of individuals who found themselves on the furthest ends of the spectrum of human feeling.”
The Aperture Portfolio Prize includes a $3,000 award and an exhibition at Aperture Gallery in fall 2014. For more info, click here.
Image: Amy Elkins, Karla Tucker, Execution #145, Age 38, 2014.