Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is a contemporary art award, held at the Tate Britain museum, that has consistently generated both widespread acclaim and hostility. No doubt these intense feelings are sometimes due to the entries each year, which in the recent past have included unmade beds, elephant dung, and sex dolls. This year’s entries were a bit more subdued, and the winner (announced this past Monday) was Jeremy Deller’s entry “Memory Bucket”. This multimedia piece consists of impressions and objects gathered from a trip that Deller took across the state of Texas some 18 months ago, and included brass bands and video images of bats streaming through the mouth of a cave. While Deller’s entry was generally considered to be the favorite of the general public and his artist colleagues, one critic referred to his work as “disgustingly twee”, while musician David Byrne had kinder words, calling the work “hilarious and touching.” This year’s contest also developed some rather interesting political (and legal) overtones, as the central piece of the exhibition (a film made in a Kabul courtroom) had to be withdrawn after legal counsel determined it could be prejudicial to the trial of a suspected Afghan warlord.
The first link will take visitors to an article from the online edition of the Guardian that discusses the recent announcement of this year’s Turner Prize, along with providing links to previous news articles on the competition. The second link leads to a piece from The Scotsman which discusses Deller’s previous works and the works of the other entries in this years’ competition. The third link will take users to a detailed artist profile of Jeremy Deller offered by the Guardian. The fourth link leads to the official site of the Turner Prize 2004 announcement, where visitors can also view a clip of “Memory Bucket”, and learn about the other artists whose entries were in the competition. The fifth link offers some direct feedback (courtesy of the BBC News website) from readers about this year’s winner and his fellow nominees. There are a wide range of opinions represented here, including one person from London who suggest that the prize should be renamed the “Turner Self Publicity Stunt Prize”. The final link leads to a fine site devoted to the internationally known sculptor and visual artist Anish Kapoor, who was the recipient of the Turner Prize in 1991.