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Turner Around Again: Turner Prize Nomination 2013

31 October, 2013

Written by Lorna Carvill in Exhibitions

Once more, the words of Hans Ulrich Obrist resonate in our minds. “It’s a Glasgow Miracle”. Turner Prize shortlist time, and a Glasgow artist has yet again been nominated for the 2013 Turner Prize Competition. The Turner Prize nominations no longer shock, perhaps because we are now expecting to be shocked, but I wait in anticipation for a new movement to soon evolve from behind the canvas of conceptualism.

David Shrigley,(see above) the Glasgow School of Art trained (and Glasgow based) visual artist who is probably best known for his canny, dysfunctional, comic-strip like drawings and storyboards has been nominated for the 2013 Prize. His work investigates social concern and everyday social conditions through a union of words and pictures. His work often attempts to find humour in the insignificant aspects and often instigates interaction between audience and art. The submitted work is of a 10ft oversized and oddly proportioned male animatronic figure which blinks and pisses into a metal bucket. Viewers are invited to sit and draw their visualisation of the character which will be shown on the walls surrounding him, becoming part of the art installation. I like the idea that it’s imitating an art school life-drawing class. It encourages audience participation, allowing the art to develop and respond to viewer feelings. The sculpture alone would not fully represent what this installation achieves without viewer contribution; and it works because nobody could ever possibly look like that, allowing artists of any level to participate.

Laure Prouvost (see video) who won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women this year, predominantly works in moving image, and is interested in translating feeling by developing a flow between fact and fiction in her work has been nominated. Quite often she makes work which is quite comical, brought about by miscommunication. The submitted work includes her Max Mara art prize installation ‘Farfromwords’ and a multimedia installation entitled ‘Wantee’(see video) which is a fictional interpretation of her grandfather’s living room in a dark room. This piece has been influenced by Kurt Schwitters, who is in fact my most favoured Dadaist painter. He was an absurdist who reacted to the social and political turmoil of the War through his destructive, non-sensical artwork.

Kurt Schwitters (b.1912)

At first glance, Prouvost’s installation could be my Gran’s jumble sale. However small hints of the absurd are apparent, such as chairs with no legs and paintings patching holes in the wall; and these make this much more captivating than my Gran’s jumble sale. It brings about the notion that a piece of art might not remain art forever. It might well evolve into a piece of junk when tastes and popular culture changes.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye has been nominated for her exhibition Extracts and Verses which was shown at the Chisenhale Gallery. Her dark, gloomy, figurative paintings are simply striking. Figurative paintings portray characters undertaking random activities, from pointing a gun (at whom or what, the viewer is unaware) to absently glaring into space. The colour palette is most powerful in that black on black is widely used, allowing the banal to pop-out with animation at the viewer: white’s of eyeballs, teeth and clothing are starkly apparent. The paint is heavily worked, detailed and only slightly narrated, prompting the viewer to ask questions about main character actions. Yiadom-Boakye is highly talented and her work is at times overwhelming; there is a ripe, pleasing darkness to her painting and this is someone who deserves to be a nominee.

Finally, nominated for his recent Tate Modern Turbine Hall commission ‘These Associations’(see above photo), and for the work showed at Documenta XIII entitled ‘This Variation’, is Tino Sehgal. His work consists of human encounters. People are scattered in a space, encouraging strangers and passers-by into conversation with the line “What do we think about exchange?” “What do we think about free market?” If we engage in the conversation, we are offered £2. (this in itself might be deemed an ‘exchange’ of information) I like this idea. A lot. It is original, edgy, and really makes you think. It allows a general art installation to become tailored to the viewer’s social and political alignment through participation. I think the unexpected, vast and varied viewpoints of people are in themselves an equal representation to art; art is vast, varied and relies on how the viewer interprets that of which they are viewing. I think this is also an interesting idea of guerilla marketing in a basic form, something which makes people think, allows audience interaction and engages with audience perception. I like the tangible, debatable aspect of this work and I think this is an excellent representation of a new type of art. Perhaps it could also be used as research which would lead to other forms of art. It is encouraging, engaging and affecting. Sehgal gets my vote.

Glasgow has many Turner Prize winners in the past, including Martin Boyce, Susan Philipsz, Richart Wright and Simon Starling, to name a few and that’s not to mention nominations. One does wonder, if Scotland becomes Independent, will our artists remain eligible for entry to this prestigious award?

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Turner Around Again: Turner Prize Nomination 2013

Fashion entrepreneur and regular Fashion Fox contributor Lorna Carvill debates this year's Turner Prize nominees from the point of the view of a Glaswegian art lover

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