The 2012 Turner Prize exhibition opened yesterday at Tate Britain featuring the work of Paul Noble, Spartacus Chedwynd, Elizabeth Price and Luke Fowler.
Noble opens the show with five new pencil drawings and marble sculptures depicting a fictive world, the imagined environs of a town called Nobson . Precise, intricate renderings of parks and palaces populated by pointed turds, Noble’s drawings are fascinating, peculiar and original, making him 5/4 favourite to win according to bookmaker William Hill.
Spartacus Chetwynd, who lives in a nudist commune in south-east London, presents a troupe of dancing tree-people and a re-telling in the form of a puppet show of the story of Jesus and Barabbus, making her the first performance artist to be shortlisted for the prize. Chetwynd has built two sets for her performances which can see seen in full every Saturday afternoon. The rest of the week will see a ‘more relaxed and improvised’ version for, Chetwynd elaborates, ‘I want them to have a good time, for it not to be too tortured’. You can watch further performances on screens within the space whilst seated on her huge inflatable slide which has been installed on its side, in order to act like a big sofa.
Elizabeth Price shows ‘The Woolworths Choir of 1979’, a 20 minute film piece featuring animated ecclesiastical architecture, the sound of 1960s tough girl group Shangri-Las and finally haunting footage of girl splayed against a barred window desperately trying to attract help to put out the a 1979 fire at a Woolworth’s in Manchester that killed 10 people. Luke Fowler exhibits his 93-minute film piece, ‘All Divided Selves’, his third film in a decade to explore the life and work of controversial Scottish psychiatrist, or anti-psychiatrist, RD Laing. Laing is the flawed hero of Fowler’s narrative which examines issues of identity, selfhood, sanity and madness whilst making use of intriguing archive footage.
This year’s show is undoubtedly thought provoking set both to baffle and beguile.
The prize, established in 1984 and won by artists including Gilbert & George, Rachel Whiteread and Jeremy Deller, will be decided by a judging panel which is now one short following the unexpected death recently of former Modern Art Oxford director, Michael Stanley.
The winner of the Turner Prize 2012 will be announced on December 3rd with the exhibition running until 6th January 2013.
Image courtesy of Getty Images copyright Spartacus Chetwynd