E.J. Major wins 2011 Salon Poetry prize
– a press release from Matt Roberts Arts

EJ Major was selected from over 960 International Photographers as the Winner of the Salon Photo Prize 2011.

Major’s photographic work often involves an element of performance and is rooted in questions of identity, how we are constructed as human beings and the lexicon of languages we must adapt to and adopt to survive. Further, in what we look to and re-fashion, as individuals, in terms of constructing ourselves. Major works with both digital and analogue technologies to create photographic constructs that are, and are not what they seem. Her pieces challenge the veracity of the photographic portrait finding an authenticity in a notion of selfportraiture that involves acting. Referencing both historical events and characters as well as those from popular culture, individual works have a narrative content, but the work is predominantly concerned with ideas. Major constructs visually arresting images that can also be read.


Over the last few years Major has become interested in protest. The Suffragette movement provides a historical context for the performance and investigation of protest today, a fixed vantage point from which to explore the myriad issues we are asked to care about. In the series Shoulder to Shoulder Major explores the conflation of confusion and care that surrounds awareness in the globalised internet generation.

Also on show will be Marie Claire RIP, a body of work featured in International Exhibitions and Bienale’s across the world. Marie Claire RIP is a series of images based on an article published in Marie Claire magazine in 2002, which featured police mug-shots of the same woman taken over a fourteen year period. Major restages the source material using herself as subject. Catherine Somzé writes of this work: “These 12 self-portraits in the guise of a staged index documenting the downfall of an unknown drug-addict constitute a reflection on the ideology of photography and on the cultural inscription of the female body.”

Major graduated with an MFA Fine Art Goldsmiths, 2009. Her first solo show in 2008 was in conjunction with Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art. Among her group shows she has exhibited at the Helsinki Photography Triennial (2009) Dallas Contemporary, USA (2008), The Minnesota Centre of Photography in Minneapolis (2008), The Australian Centre of Photography in Sydney (2007-2008) Clampart in New York (2007) and The 2nd International Fotofestival, Germany (2007). She has been reviewed by Modern Painters (2008) and ‘Marie Claire RIP’ has been profiled in European Photography, Fotograf Magazine CZ, The British Journal of Photography, Glasstire and ArtInvestor Magazine DE and featured on both Swedish and Finnish news programs.

From the series ‘Marie Claire RIP’ (2007), 20” x 24”

From the series ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ Self-Portrait with Slasher Mary (2010) – 33” x 27”