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 447.

    You know when you read the words Turner Prize real art is the last thing that comes to mind. A haystack or turning a tap on is not art. Constable's The Hay Wain IS art. The difference is the former takes zero skill the latter takes talent. The a Turner Prize is anti-art it is a mockery to art.

  • rate this

    Comment number 446.

    I hope people will visit theTurner exhibition to judge for themselves, as the works are often far better than the media coverage suggests.

  • rate this

    Comment number 445.

    The Turner Prize has long been a means for silly people who want to get noticed to hoodwink the public into believing their offerings to be 'art'. Art requires some kind of talent, not just the ability to provoke contempt and derision. Which is the reaction most of the entrants deserve. I see no art in it, or even the capacity to 'shock' - it's just a big publicity stunt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 444.

    What is the agenda of someone who says that great art is all around us and is called Nature? For all that Nature is wonderful, it is not art.
    Also Picasso was never troubled by being reviled. He was confident of his genius from the age of 12, and worked happily, though driven,for the rest of his life at his art. Why would any artist care a jot for criticism?

  • rate this

    Comment number 443.

    Art is like God, it doesn't exist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 442.


    Only totalitarian states 'know what is best'

    Hmmm let's see socialist USSR, socialist China, socialist NK, Plus it seems the Socialist bbc.

    Not on topic but only so much you can talk about art.

  • rate this

    Comment number 441.

    For some reason it brings to mind the infinite monkey theorem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 440.

    Art has long since stopped being about using skill,talent and creativity to create something beautiful and thought-provoking.
    Now it is all about who can spout meaningless drivel to justify the absence of the above
    ****Thankfully, you are wrong..Many a painter/sculptor engraver/potter/glazier et al are out there doing BEAUTIFUL and skilled work.sadly vox pop goes with 'media' choice

  • rate this

    Comment number 439.

    How about a collage of hys removed posts - voices of the disaffected! Or how about under consideration comments - compromised thinking??!! Art is something unique that has taken blood, sweat and tears too produce. Not some gimmick like lights flashing on and off

  • rate this

    Comment number 438.

    The previous comment that anything can be argued to be art is spot-on. You cannot objectify art with an arbitrary set of parameters to deem what is "good," "bad," or even "art" precisely because you cannot prove that such parameters are the requisites of art. Anyone condemning modern art must accept the fact that their opinions are just as substantive as as their preference for apples over pears.

  • rate this

    Comment number 437.

    Does this 'prize' actually have any value any longer? An uncomfortable comment on the times perhaps that a great artist's name is continually linked with pretentious rubbish whose only purpose is to provide matter for the chattering classes to flap their tongues about.

    But does 'art' have any value anyway?

  • rate this

    Comment number 436.

    "YouTube artist on Turner Prize list"

    I'm sure the BBC thinks the above topic is far more important for us to comment on than..

    "Nigeria abductions: UK experts to provide advice"
    "Stuart Hall 'raped teenage girls in BBC dressing room"
    "Co-op Group's board is 'dysfunctional', says Myners"

  • rate this

    Comment number 435.

    Dear EmesonV
    Not enough letters in my previous post 431.
    You say...Last Socialist - Hopefully.
    Quip as subtle as Farrago's smile...I smiled too and then I reflected that each species that becomes extinct harms those left so I'd like to think there may be another Socialist out there...somewhere.
    I trust you have read Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays...good stuff
    A joyful evening be yours

  • rate this

    Comment number 434.

    It won't be long before a turner prize entrant doesn't turn up and doesn't exhibit anything. I'm sure that alone would win.

    Methinks the emperor is turning blue with cold.

  • Comment number 433.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 432.

    My nipper has just left an interesting pattern in her nappy, will that do for the turner prize?

  • rate this

    Comment number 431.

    409.EmersonV.393 Last Socialist- Hopefully..You say:"Lucky the bbc allow us to comment on the mportant subjects and those irrelevant subjects such as Nigeria, Astra Zenica etc get ignored"
    My experience is that in the face of anger, regret and feeling of frustration humour has it's place with kindness & sense Even in battle ironic humour happens
    Only totalitarian states 'know what is best'

  • rate this

    Comment number 430.

    @ 423 One example (and from reality TV, seriously?) doesn't make your argument 100% accurate, just as the other commenter earlier linking to a friend's page or work - who had no luck in getting recognition or indeed any kind of honest appraisal - doesn't fully reinforce my argument either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 429.

    We all know about the areas in art that are off limits don't we? So we focus attention on meaningless trivia because we know what has happened to certain artists and writers, and we know which side our main tax funded media would take. So enjoy the Turner Prize and be grateful for what we are allowed to discuss..

  • rate this

    Comment number 428.

    423 - You're right and like I said earlier, self-proclaimed art critics have been harsh on people with talent because apparently they don't have experience in the art world. They prefer a bag of rice than artistic flair.

    Perhaps the BBC should rebroadcast this -


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