Turner Prize 2014: Duncan Campbell wins £25,000 prize

  • Published
Media caption,

Duncan Campbell: "It feels quite surreal... it's such a relief, the limbo's over"

Dublin-born film artist Duncan Campbell has won this year's £25,000 Turner Prize for a video that reflects on African art and includes a dance sequence inspired by Karl Marx.

The jury described the winning film It for Others as "an ambitious and complex film which rewards repeated viewing".

Campbell's win was announced by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor at Tate Britain live on Channel 4.

"This money will make a huge difference," the artist said.

"Even being nominated for the prize has given me great heart."

Media caption,

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor announces Duncan Campbell as the winner

Glasgow-based Campbell, who was the bookmakers' favourite, was on the shortlist for the prestigious and provocative contemporary art prize along with James Richards, Ciara Phillips and Tris Vonna-Michell.

Speaking to the BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz after his win, Campbell described his 54-minute film as "episodic" and hoped people would watch it from beginning to end.

"Ideally you might watch it twice," he said.

He is the fourth graduate from the Glasgow School of Art to have won the prize in the last 10 years.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Duncan Campbell's It for Others is being shown at Tate Britain
Image source, courtesy of Tate Britain
Image caption,
It for Others ponders the value and uses of art

The school's director Professor Tom Inns said: "The Glasgow School of Art warmly congratulates Duncan Campbell on winning the Turner Prize.

"This is a great accolade both for Duncan and for the Glasgow School of Art. Duncan becomes our fifth winner of this prestigious award since 1996 and the fourth graduate of our Master of Fine Art programme to win since 2005."

In May a major fire caused extensive damage to the art school's Mackintosh building and destroyed its famous library.

This year's Turner shortlist has underwhelmed many art commentators with the Spectator's Digby Warde-Aldam describing it as "the worst shortlist in the award's history".

It for Others - part of Scotland's entry in last year's Venice Biennale - responds to a 1953 film essay about historical African art and colonialism, Statues Also Die, by Chris Marker and Alan Resnais.

It blends archive footage with new material including a new dance work by the choreographer Michael Clark inspired by equations from Karl Marx's Das Kapital.

The jury said they admired Campbell's "exceptional dedication to making a work which speaks about the construction of value and meaning in ways that are topical and compelling".

This year's prize fund is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.

Previous winners of the Turner Prize include Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and installation artist Laure Prouvost, who took last year's award.

It was established in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art and is given to a British artist under 50 who judges believe has put on the best exhibition of the last 12 months.

Work by this year's nominees has been on show at Tate Britain in London since 30 September and will continue to be shown until 4 January.

Duncan Campbell

Image source, PA/Tate
Image caption,
Duncan Campbell's films bring together "authentic" archive footage with fictional elements
  • Born in 1972, Campbell studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, before completing a Master of Fine Art programme at Glasgow School of Art in 1998.
  • His films bring together archive footage, photographs, interviews, animation and re-enactment.
  • Campbell has said that he strives to find what the writer Samuel Beckett termed a "form that accommodates the mess".
  • His recent solo exhibitions include The Common Guild, Glasgow (2014); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2012); Belfast Exposed, Belfast; Arbeit, Hotel, London (2011)
  • He lives and works in Glasgow.

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