Eight Canadian artists will be honoured with the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts next month – or maybe that should be nine.
The list of honourees, unveiled Wednesday by the Canada Council for the Arts, includes Cozic, the Quebec experimental and performance-art duo that likes to be known as one artist. Based in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Rochelle, Que., Cozic is made up of Yvon Cozic and Monic Brassad but represents itself as one person, even going so far as to combine images of the two people to create the artist’s headshot.
Cozic will be presented with just one $25,000 cheque and a bronze medallion at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on March 28, alongside seven other winners.
For lifetime achievement in the visual and media arts, the other $25,000 winners also include Toronto artist Stephen Andrews, recognized for his evocative work on such difficult contemporary subjects as AIDS, surveillance and the Iraq War, and Andrew James Paterson, a multidisciplinary Toronto video artist and writer whose eclectic body of work often addresses the relationship between the body and technology. Also from Toronto, documentarian Ali Kazimi deals with themes of colonialism, immigration and identity, and will be the first Indo-Canadian to win the annual awards, which were established in 1999.
Conceptual artist Marlene Creates of Portugal Cove, N.L., is being recognized for a body of work that includes photography, video and performance and which addresses both experience and place. Photographer Jeff Thomas, who is Iroquois and lives in Ottawa, is recognized for his storytelling work.
Quebec glass artist Susan Edgerley, who creates large-scale glass and mixed-media installations, wins the Saidye Bronfman Award recognizing fine art crafts, and Lee-Ann Martin, an independent curator of Indigenous art from Carp, Ont. will be awarded the prize for an outstanding contribution to the visual arts.
The artists’ work will be shown at the National Gallery of Canada during 2019.