Artist Stan Douglas on winning the Hasselblad Award

"Rounders" by Stan Douglas
"Capoeira, 1974" by Stan Douglas
"Dice" by Stan Douglas

Internationally acclaimed artist Stan Douglas’ engaging work explores social histories played out through a complex, cinematic televisual language. He was last year’s recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Award, worth approximately $150,000 (CAD) in prize money.


Congratulations again on winning the 2016 Hasselblad Award for photography! What did receiving the award mean to you?

It was totally surprising when I got the phone call. I was honoured to be included with the list of previous winners some of whom are my favourite photographers. I was totally blown away.


Rounders by Stan Douglas


What motivates and inspires your work?

My work is based on research. I'm always looking for things like modern histories, little known histories and recreating them. And, from recreating these histories I can see what it was like.


Capoeira, 1974 by Stan Douglas


How do you feel about being associated with the Vancouver School of photoconceptualists?

These were a group of artists who would meet at bars, work together and exhibit together. I was not a part of that. They created an interest in Vancouver and people who came to see them also came to see me but I wasn't part of them.


Dice by Stan Douglas


What do you love about photography?

I love how surprising it is. Photography does things you can't control. It's not like traditional art where you can control and create every detail. In photography you capture these slices of the world and you can't control everything. That's the most exciting part.

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Stan Douglas: Stan Douglas

Photographic portrait of Stan Douglas
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm

Join Canadian artist-photographer Stan Douglas for a thought-provoking lecture. Internationally acclaimed, Douglas’s engaging work explores social histories played out through a complex, cinematic televisual language.


About Stan Douglas

Stan Douglas was born in 1960 in Vancouver, where he continues to live and work.

His interest in the social implementation of western ideas of progress, particularly utopian philosophies, is located in their often divisive political and economic effects. His interrogation of the structural possibilities of film and video, in concert with intricately developed narratives, has resulted in a number of groundbreaking contemporary art works.

In 2013, a major survey of his recent work, Stan Douglas: Photographs 2008–2013, was presented at Carré d’Art — Musée d’art contemporain in Nîmes, France. It traveled as Stan Douglas: Mise en scène through 2015 to Haus der Kunst, Munich, followed by Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

In 2014, Douglas created Helen Lawrence, a multimedia theatre work that merges theatre, visual art, live-action filming, and computer-generated imagery. Since its inaugural presentation at the Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver in March 2014, Helen Lawrence has been hosted by the Münchner Kammerspiele, Munich; Edinburgh International Festival; Canadian Stage, Toronto; Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; and deSingel, Antwerp.

Most recently, Douglas received the 2016 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. He is a recipient of other notable awards, including the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award (2013) and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York (2012).

Over the past decade, Douglas’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide, including the The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2014); Centre culturel canadien, Paris (2013); Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota (2012); The Power Plant, Toronto (2011); Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2007); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005); kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2004); and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002).

Presented by the President's Speaker Series.

Artist's statement used with permission by Reid Shier.
From: Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Contemporary Art Gallery, Stan Douglas: Every Building on 100 West Hastings, 2002

Photo by Michael Courtney

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street - Auditorium - Room 190
416-977-6000 x300