Tarrah Krajnak’s Master Rituals II: Weston’s Nudes works to rewrite the canonical history of photography through self-portraiture. Various artists are exploring the problematic histories and realities of our world, such as race, gender, and identity, all of which still remains a problem today. Among the applications for this year, Krajnak’s work stood out because of her thoughtful and unique approach. We are very proud and honoured to have her as the winner of this year’s Grand Prize.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, her residency program for 2021 had not yet been realised during the year, but we look forward to seeing what originality will be brought to her work in collaboration with the artisans of our collotype studio. The last two years have forced us to rethink ourselves and the world around us, to be aware of our position within it. Many of us have chosen or have been encouraged to make changes in ourselves in order to find that place. We hope that Krajnak’s Hariban Award exhibition, which will be her first solo exhibition in Japan, will be both thought provoking and will create a space for viewers to further form new perspectives.
– Takumi Suzuki CEO of Benrido, Inc.
In Master Rituals II: Weston’s Nudes I re-enact Edward Weston’s iconic nude studies as both the photographer and subject. As a woman of colour, the insertion of my body into the white modernist canon of mid-century “masters” becomes a way for me to reclaim and re-write male-dominated history while challenging white standards of beauty. My titles include the full names of the women who modelled for Weston– many of them his lovers at the time of the shoot. This naming is a way to make visible the ways in which women have been erased from the canonical history of photography, while at the very same time the “anonymous” use of our bodies remains visible. All photographs are 8×10 Silver Gelatin Prints from 4×5 film.
Tarrah Krajnak was born in Lima, Peru in 1979. She is currently based in Los Angeles. Krajnak was awarded the Jury Prize of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2021. She is also a recipient of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Her first monograph of the project El Jardín De Senderos Que Se Bifurcan was published with DAIS books in May 2021. The book was selected for MoMA’s inaugural list celebrating their ten favourite photo books of the year, and was shortlisted for the Paris Photo/Aperture First Book Award 2021. Krajnak is represented by Galerie Thomas Zander.