Is the Turner Prize taking the piss?’ This seems to be the burning question among many journalists this week with regard to the current Turner exhibition taking place at Ebrington, Derry, until early January 2014. And the ‘piss’ metaphor is being used as a result of the large nude male statue pissing into a bucket in Gallery One of the exhibition!
It’s certainly drawing a lot of attention and the said artist, David Shrigley is favourite to win the prestigious prize on December 2nd. Shrigley’s nude figure is coming under a lot of scrutiny at present and some even go so far as to call it pornographic. Well, one must go and judge for oneself. You even get the opportunity to draw your own perception of the figure. And some pictures on the wall of Gallery One are well worth a viewing!! As Shrigley says himself, “‘The drawings are part of the artwork. The idea is that people can take a bit of the artwork away. I hope they enjoy trying to figure out what it’s about.” I spoke to one little boy who was drawing the figure alongside his mother and he said “I’m imagining he’s a naked superhero!” How apt for a child to perceive such.
The other exhibit which is drawing much controversy is the ‘Blank Gallery’. Here artist Tino Sehgal has a plain white Gallery at Gallery 4 and he is engaging his audience in the art of conversation. Sehgal is offering £2 to people if they converse with him about the Marketing Economy. Many are earning their money and others move along.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye exhibits a selection of her work in Gallery 3 and it certainly draws you in. She is challenging the accepted norm of western figuration by depicting black subjects.
The final exhibitor in the Turner final 2013 is Laure Prouvost. Prouvost in her unique approach to filmmaking, often situated within atmospheric installations, is offering fragmented fictions and uses quick cuts, montage, sound and text to create surprising and unpredictable work. Her work can be viewed at Gallery 2.
Whether you’re an art fan or not, it’s certainly worth a visit whilst running at Ebrington. The Turner Prize, now in it’s 29th year has never before come outside of England, so on this historic occasion, it certainly is turning a few heads.
I had always planned to pay the exhibition a visit but when I was asked to do a ‘news feature’ on it for a London paper I had to quickly educate myself on modern art and the artists. I’ve learned a little but will never make an art critic!
But sure where else would you get to see, what someone said to me yesterday, “a dummy pissing in a bucket!” And then spend a few hours writing about it!!!
The Turner Prize 2013 winner will be announced live from Derry on December 2nd. The exhibition continues at Ebrington daily until 5th January 2014.