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Angelina Barrucco: Portraits in a Time of Social Distancing

Project X Award 2022 Winner

October 20, 2022
 - November 20, 2022

Sky Lounge – Level 3

Portraits in a Time of Social Distancing reveals artist Angelina Barrucco’s investigation into her portraiture practice during a time of isolation and restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Connecting with participants through ZOOM for a portrait session and conversation, Barrucco used her computer’s screenshot function to capture compelling digital diptychs. On the left, sitters pose for a traditional portrait, while the image on the right reveals the view directly beyond their device: the virtual space where Barrucco would have been situated in had she been present to take their portrait in person.

Comprised of 114 diptychs, the installation recalls the gallery view of a ZOOM call that brings together strangers, colleagues, and friends – while an accompanying 60-minute video, titled Who Were You? reveals soundless clips of the participants in motion during their portrait sessions. Together, the works speak to the complex layering of experiences related to feelings of isolation, togetherness, presence, and absence during this time of social distancing.

Recipient of the 2022 Project X Photography Award, Angelina Barrucco’s practice uses repetition, ritual, and endurance to create a visual relationship that exceeds the usual expectations of the medium of portraiture. She received her M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the University of Ottawa, and her work has been collected by the City of Ottawa and private collectors internationally.

Curator: Meghan Ho
French Translation: Marie-Camille Lalande
Installation: Dan Austin, Jennifer Gilliland


The Project X Photography Award recognizes and celebrates the merits of a publicly presented photographic project by an Ottawa-based artist. The award recipient is selected by a jury of arts, photography, and media experts and is presented by SPAO, the Ottawa Art Gallery, and the Ottawa Arts Council, with supporting sponsor DAÏMÔN.



The artist would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa, and Sooter’s Photography for their support.



Image: Angelina Barrucco, Portraits in a Time of Social Distancing, 2020,114 digital photographs (installation detail), courtesy of the artist.


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