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Big man with a big heart does his part
December 5, 2007 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for 'State Britain' his recreation of Brian Haw's Parliament Square peace protest.

Although for the prize exhibition (this year out of London for the first time) Wallinger showed a video of himself dressed in a bear costume. The seems to be at least one critic's choice although not everyone agrees. Wallinger had previously been short-listed for the prize in 1995 for work exploring his interest in horse racing. Although he is probably best know for the Christ sculpture 'Ecce Homo', and religious themed videos he has produced an eclectic set of work including a TARDIS sculpture.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I quite like Ecce Homo. "State Britain", I don't get.
posted by empath at 4:12 PM on December 5, 2007


Meh. As someone said on the Graun artsblog, "It's not quite Guernica, is it?"
posted by athenian at 4:36 PM on December 5, 2007


I seriously don't get the fuss about Wallinger, at least not nowadays - State Britain is okay, but the Sleeper video was just plain tedious, especially once you tried to shoehorn the muddle of stuff the piece was supposed to be about into the experience of watching it (or some of it - I could only stomach fifteen minutes myself).

I increasingly think that the Turner Prize should be opened up to a public vote, based on the show mounted by the nominees - at least then Wallinger might have pulled his finger out and presented something decent, instead of dusting off a three-year-old piece, and it would get rid of the current silly system where not even all the judges will have seen the work that earned an artist their nomination before making their decision.
posted by jack_mo at 5:03 PM on December 5, 2007


His work is often brilliant, but he is a loss to painting
posted by MrMerlot at 5:31 PM on December 5, 2007


I'm still trying to decide about the guy. Has anyone got a link to his "Threshold to the Kingdom" video - with all the people's faces as they emerge from the Int'l Arrivals at the airport? That sounds interesting but I can't find it online.
posted by freebird at 5:32 PM on December 5, 2007


I'm not really getting what makes the peice so special from the photos and description, but thats frequently the case with this kind of art: You really have to see it in person to appreciate it. At 40ft long it sounds like scale would be a factor and that doesn't come over in the pictures.

FWIW Mike Nelsons peice sounds kind of interesting to me.
posted by Artw at 7:16 PM on December 5, 2007


Is Brian Haw getting anything out of this?
posted by chrismear at 10:49 PM on December 5, 2007


I saw this last winter. Is whoever edited the Wikipedia right--that it DOESN"T fall within the exclusion boundary?
posted by brujita at 11:14 PM on December 5, 2007


Has anyone got a link to his "Threshold to the Kingdom" video - with all the people's faces as they emerge from the Int'l Arrivals at the airport?

Seconding this query. I’ve seen a few clips of it and they were aces – people’s different reactions as they escapes from the hell of security and customs – some met by family, some striding through alone. The entering heaven element is obvious but it manages to be more than that. It reminds me a bit of the scene with the elevator and the mouth organ in “A Matter of Life and Death”.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 2:32 AM on December 6, 2007


I believe the Turner is awarded for the artist's a body of work, not any one piece in particular.

I saw "State Britain" in Tate Modern: thought it was interesting to look at as a document.

Personally though, I'm not keen on art of the form "here's the work of some dumb pleb, now encapsulated by the magical/ironic power of my Art."

A while back the Observer had an interesting article by a Turner prize judge on the experience.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:59 AM on December 6, 2007


I believe the Turner is awarded for the artist's a body of work, not any one piece in particular.

No, in theory at least, it's awarded for a specific show or shows mounted in the past year - in Wallinger's case, State Britain, which is why it's slightly odd that the public are presented with a Turner Prize show that may well be completely divorced from the judging process.

A while back the Observer had an interesting article by a Turner prize judge on the experience.

See above ;-)

His work is often brilliant, but he is a loss to painting

Looking back at his work when he was last nominated, I'd forgotten how great his horse paintings were. Of course, he had no chance against Damien Hirst then, just as the others had no chance against him this year!
posted by jack_mo at 4:10 AM on December 6, 2007


We bought his flat off him. It was in a bloody state. We found soiled underwear behind the bath, a ten year old pork chop in the fridge, mouse holes and dung everywhere. It was more of a symptom than a living space. Tasteless paint job, no kitchen to speak of etc. At least it knocked the price right down. Still get all his damned post. I think given the current political climate his fascimile (which other people actually built of course) of Brian Haw's incoherent, emotionally pornographic eyesore of a protest was a sure thing to win. I've not seen his paintings, which could suprise. But otherwise he is just another YBA - they are like the worst Victorian genre artists in the end. Prospect once did a great hatchet job on the not-too-dissimilar Damien. He can choke on his fursuit for all I care, but will more likely be dining on gold leaf. What's sad is that I have seen all sorts of art in local galleries that could be really groundbreaking - conceptualist chancers like this steal all the critical oxygen. But hey, we live a vapid age...
posted by The Salaryman at 7:53 AM on December 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


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