Iraq protest camp shortlisted for Turner Prize

Politics not paint are set to dominate this year's Turner Prize after the announcement today of a four-strong shortlist of artists more exercised by issues such as the Iraq war, terrorism and religious strife than images of beauty.

Iraq protest camp shortlisted for Turner Prize

Politics not paint are set to dominate this year's Turner Prize after the announcement today of a four-strong shortlist of artists more exercised by issues such as the Iraq war, terrorism and religious strife than images of beauty.

Leading the way is Mark Wallinger, a veteran of the Sensation generation of British artists.


He has been shortlisted for his £90,000 work, State Britain, in which he meticulously recreated Brian Haw’s long-running anti-Iraq war peace demonstration outside Parliament, in galleries at Tate Britain at the start of the year.

Wallinger, 48, who also created Ecce Homo, a striking Christ-like figure for Trafalgar Square’s vacant fourth plinth in 1999, is likely to be the public favourite for the controversial £25,000 prize which is traditionally dominated by conceptual artists.


Wallinger was also shortlisted twelve years ago when he named a working racehorse A Real Work of Art. The horse was something of an also-ran and Wallinger was beaten to the Turner Prize by Damien Hirst.

Also shortlisted is Glaswegian artist Nathan Coley, 39, who makes architectural installations. Among his best-known are a scale model of the old Marks and Spencer store in Manchester demolished after it was damaged by an IRA bomb.


He also created a body of work about the loss of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, recreating the witness box from the trial of the Libyans charged with planting a bomb on the plane.

Coley has been nominated for a recent series about religious tensions - cardboard sculptures of a church, a mosque and a synagogue which he camouflaged to point up the similarities of faith.


The political vein continues with Zarina Bhimji, 43, a Ugandan Asian who works in film and photography. She is shortlisted for images from her native Uganda intended to show the grief and loss felt by Asians kicked out of the country by Idi Amin.

Only the fourth artist, Mike Nelson, 41, avoids direct politics. Also inspired by architecture, he has been nominated for a strange creation of a series of underground "hidden rooms" included an abandoned photographic studio.


A satire on the art world to demonstrate the loneliness and hard grind experienced by artists, it was shown for the first time at London’s Frieze Art Fair, attended by hordes of the world’s richest and most glamorous collectors.

Judges of the prize, to be announced in December, denied that they deliberately shortlisted political work. But one, the writer Miranda Sawyer, said: "We live in political times."

Wallinger's work was unveiled at the Tate Britain in January less than eight months after police dismantled Mr Haw's demonstration under new powers to limit protests around Parliament.


More than 15 people spent more than six months recreating the protest, working from photographs taken days before it was dismantled. Mr Haw's demonstration is now limited to a 10ft "cube", under the terms of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

Wallinger has said that his work expresses his anger at the war in Iraq and the Government's clampdown on freedom of speech and erosion of civil liberties.

The shortlist was announced at Tate Liverpool, which will stage the Turner Prize exhibition in October, and where the prize will be awarded in December.

The prestigious event was moved to Liverpool as a "curtain-raiser" for the city's Capital of Culture year in 2008.

Source:Telegraph

Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2007, 13:11
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