2013 Turner Prize nominees announced
This year’s Turner Prize nominees has resulted in a typically mixed response, from sheer incredulity – is David Shrigley an artist? – to derision – it no longer shocks in the way it did – and all-out praise – it’s a roguish coterie of nominees.
Their inference from this is that, as ever, the Turner Prize shortlist for 2013 is smart, unpredictable and intriguing, loyal to the eclectic history of the annual award. In other words, while its heritage remains intact, it continues to propel itself further forward into the indefatigable world of contemporary art.
Last year’s winner was Elizabeth Price, who picked up the gong for her twenty-minute video installation The Woolworths Choir of 1979. It was one of the most interesting groups to be assembled, with each of the nominees (Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler and Paul Noble) considered strong contenders.
Below is a rundown of the four artists up for the legendary award, which is being held at Ebrington in Derry-Londonderry as part of the UK City of Culture 2013. It’s a lot harder to say who will win this year, but whoever does, will pocket a £25,000 cheque (and the runner-ups £5,000 each).
But much more than that, it’s a door to immortality so to speak. Once you win the Turner Prize, life is never quite the same. And that can either be a good or bad thing. History, for some, has yet to cast its objective judgement.
“I’m delighted with the shortlist,” Graeme Farrow, executive programmer of the UK City of Culture, told Channel 4 News. “I think it’s a very diverse and open-hearted list. And I think it’s perfect for Derry. I think that people will really embrace it. I think that it will arouse curiosity and excitement and I think there’s a darkly humorous element which I think will play very well in Derry too.”
Nominated for: Wantee at Tate Britain and her two-part exhibition for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women.
In short: The French video artist is celebrated for her irreverent, bizarre and mysterious films, which are often situated within moody installations. She plays around with language, but humorously so.
Tate says: “Quick cuts, montage and deliberate misuse of language to create surprising and unpredictable work.”
Nominated for: This Variation at Documenta 13 and These Associations at Tate Modern.
In short: Tino Sehgal is the most fascinating and interesting inclusion here, perhaps the most avant-garde. The German performance artist has, for example, described his material as “people’s attention”.
Tate says: “Seghal’s intimate works consist purely of live encounters between people and demonstrate a keen sensitivity to their institutional context.”
Nominated for: David Shrigley: Brain Activity at Hayward Gallery.
In short: Another controversial choice, David Shrigley has never really been associated with the art world in a conventional way, his cartoons tending to lend themselves better to newspaper and magazine editorials.
Tate says: Brain Activity “offered a comprehensive overview and new perspectives on his work [and] revealed his black humour, macabre intelligence and infinite jest”.
Nominated for: Her exhibition Extracts and Verses at Chisenhale Gallery.
Conventional in the sense that she is a painter, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s works are multilayered portraits of figures conjured up by her imagination. They may be fictitious but their stories are very real.
Tate says: “Her portraits of imaginary people use invented pre-histories and raise pertinent questions about how we read pictures in general.”
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