British Turner Prize nominees, art, and politics


This video is called Can art stop the war?

From British daily The Independent:

By Arifa Akbar

Published: 09 May 2007

An artist who reconstructed an encampment of anti-war banners and placards at Parliament Square has been nominated for the Turner Prize on a shortlist of artists who make trenchant political statements.

Mark Wallinger‘s reconstruction of Brian Haw’s “one-man protest” at Westminster was nominated for the controversial art prize yesterday, alongside the works of Zarina Bhimji, Nathan Coley and Mike Nelson.

The artistic preoccupations of the various works range from the Iraq war protest to Idi Amin‘s repressive regime in Uganda and commentaries on the waning power of religious institutions.

According to Miranda Sawyer, a journalist who is on the judging panel, the issue-led shortlist reflected the fact that “we live in political times”.

Christoph Grunenberg, the director of Tate Liverpool, where the prize will be presented, added that the jury, of which he is chair, said: “It was not our intention to set out a political message. It was just interesting that we discovered this pattern which seemed to emerge.

Only after the jury had met and discussed the works did we realise there was a strong concentration of political work and work about religious beliefs and spirituality.

“It’s an obvious truth, but works of art are actually political acts and artists act as mediators.

If you look at the artists this year, there is a spectrum of overtly political works such as Wallinger’s and pieces that are about the individual’s relationship to the world they live in.”

The shortlist in previous years for the coveted £25,000 contemporary art prize have been criticised for being too “conceptual” and divorced from social reality. …

State Britain, by Wallinger, who was previously nominated in 1995, is currently on show at Tate Britain.

Haw began his protest in June 2001.

His initial stand was against the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, but after 11 September 2001 he widened his cause, directing messages of peace against the “war on terror”, with a bulging display including banners painted by the graffiti artist Banksy and placards brandishing slogans such as “Peace Salam Shalom” and “UK troops out of Iraq”.

In 2005, the Government passed a law restricting protests within a kilometre of Parliament and Haw’s protest in Parliament Square opposite the House of Commons was dismantled in May 2006.

See also here.

Update: Mark Wallinger wins Turner Prize: here. Wallinger video about winning the Turner Prize: here.

Damien Hirst review: here.

4 thoughts on “British Turner Prize nominees, art, and politics

  1. Pingback: 11,000 British soldiers have gone AWOL since Iraq war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: The Art of Protest - Gwyneth's personal blog

  3. Pingback: Four British Turner Prize nominees | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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