YouTube artist on Turner Prize list


Will Gompertz tells Simon McCoy non-traditional forms of art have been selected in the shortlist (Pictured: Duncan Campbell)

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A video artist who uses YouTube clips, a print-maker and an artist who pairs spoken word with photography are among this year's Turner Prize nominees.

Duncan Campbell, James Richards, Ciara Phillips and Tris Vonna-Michell are on the shortlist for the prestigious and provocative contemporary art prize.

Start Quote

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Turner Prize, and true to its non-conformist nature, there are unlikely to be any oil paintings or figurative sculptures on display at the 2014 exhibition”

End Quote Will Gompertz BBC arts editor

Between them, they employ audio, video, craft and design - but there are no traditional painters or sculptors.

The winner, who will receive £25,000, will be named on 1 December.

Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis, who chairs the jury, admitted this year's Turner nominees were "less well known" than in previous years.

"They are serious works, they have quite a political or social commitment," she said at Thursday's shortlist announcement.

"It's perhaps less fun but I hope that we can do the job in communicating why these works are important and have caught the imagination of many people over the last 12 months."

Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Tate Britain's curator of contemporary art, said the shortlist was "more accessible" than in past years.

"It's not art about art, it's art about the world and other subjects everybody has experience of and can relate to."

Internet impact

The nomination announcement said the four artists' methods "suggest the impact of the internet, cinema, TV and mobile technologies on a new generation of artists".

Curtis said they shared "a strong international presence and an ability to adapt, restage and reinterpret their own and others' works, very often working in a collaborative social context".

BBC News arts editor Will Gompertz suggested that the four all "make work that is in some way shape or form, a collage".

He said: "This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Turner Prize, and true to its non-conformist nature, there are unlikely to be any oil paintings or figurative sculptures on display at the 2014 exhibition."

The nominees are:

Duncan Campbell

Dublin-born, Glasgow-based Duncan Campbell is nominated for a video that was part of Scotland's entry in last year's Venice Biennale.

Duncan Campbell's It Others

His film, It for Others, is a reflection on a remarkable historical documentary about African art made by the French filmmakers Chris Marker and Alain Resnais in 1953.

It also includes a stunning dance sequence created with choreographer Michael Clark.

Campbell studied at the Glasgow School of Art. The city has produced four of the last nine Turner Prize winners.

Scotland takes on the Venice biennale

Ciara Phillips

Canada-born print-maker Ciara Phillips is another Glasgow-based nominee.

Ciara Phillips' work from The Showroon

She has been shortlisted for a two-month project at The Showroom gallery in north-west London, where she set up a temporary print studio and invited artists, designers, and local women's groups to produce new screen prints.

She also set up The Poster Club, a collective of like-minded artists, in Glasgow in 2010, and creates screenprints, textiles, photographs and wall paintings.

The Scotsman wrote last year: "Phillips is a brilliant print maker who imbues the medium with a freshness that is remarkable, in posters, prints and textiles."

James Richards

James Richards pieces together apparently unrelated clips from a wide variety of sources - including YouTube, VHS tapes from charity shops, other artists' films and footage he has shot himself.

James Richards' Rosebud

In one video, the Cardiff-born artist spliced together a clip of Heather Langenkamp in Nightmare on Elm Street with a girl drawing an eye in an instructional video and footage of space, all of which shared the same zoom speed.

He has been shortlisted for a 13-minute black-and-white video that was part of a group show at the Venice Biennale.

The Turner Prize citation said he created "poetic meditations on the pleasure, sensuality and the voyeurism that is within the act of looking".

Tris Vonna-Michell

Tris Vonna-Michell explores methods of storytelling, combining spoken word performances, recorded narration, slide-shows and printed photographs.

His nomination is for an installation at the Jan Mot gallery in Brussels that used two slide projections and an audio narration relating to his mother's childhood in Berlin.

Tris Vonna-Mitchell Postscript II

Another graduate of Glasgow School of Art, his work was last seen in the UK at the Baltic gallery in Gateshead, with an installation inspired by the National Trust's nearby Gibside property.

His "fragments of information, detours and repetitions designed to confuse and enlighten in equal measure", the Turner nomination said.

The Turner Prize is open to British contemporary artists under the age of 50. The nominees will be on show at the Turner Prize Exhibition at Tate Britain from 30 September.

Last year's winner was Laure Prouvost, who created a video installation about the disappearance of her contemporary artist grandfather.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 241.

    Often there's an element of the Emperor's Clothes about this sort of stuff - while some of it can be quite clever and amusing.

    My rule of thumb is that if I enjoy it (or can appreciate why others might enjoy it) and couldn't do it myself then it passes muster - a lot of the 'paint-flicking' stuff doesn't pass muster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    You could argue that everything is art, everything man made has been designed and as such has artistic merit in the same way anything in nature can be described as being art because it has visual a impact and has to all extents been designed... Just not by man.

    I'm not a modern art fan by any means but can appreciate the intention, you not "getting it" doesn't mean it's not art.

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    The one good thing about the Turner Prize entries is that it "proper" art look so much better, and that's a good thing for struggling artists who actually have some artistic talent

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    If you have to tell people the 'thing' is art and explain why it is art and why it has artistic value, then the thing isn't art.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    I once had lunch at Salt's Mill nr Bradford where David Hockney exhibits. After eating in the restaurant I made a 'Please do not touch the artwork' notice and we put an unused crowd barrier cordon round the table. About 20 minutes later we returned to find people admiring the dirty plates and taking pictures.


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