The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'turner prize'
This year's Turner Prize has been awarded to video artist Elizabeth Price for her work The Woolworths Choir of 1979, a hypnotic video mixing footage of 1960s girl group The Shangri-Las performing with news footage of a fire in a Woolworths department store. If Price's name sounds familiar, it's because she was in 1980s Sarah Records indiepop band Talulah Gosh. (And, indeed, she is by no means the only Talulah Gosh alumnus to have a notable subsequent career; the band also boasts a senior government economist and an Oxford University Press commissioning editor.
Other contestants for the prize were visual artist Paul Noble, who had been nominated for a series of detailed pencil drawings of a fantastic metropolis named Nobson Newtown, filmmaker Luke Fowler, whose entry was a documentary on controversial Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing, titled All Divided Selves, and the splendidly named Spartacus Chetwynd, a performance artist.
Jeremy Deller, one of the masterminds behind Acid Brass, has won the Turner Prize, with a video exploring Crawford, Texas and the Branch Davidian siege in nearby Waco. Deller is also known for staging a re-enactment of a battle of the 1984 miner's strike (using former miners to play riot police), placing ads containing Smiths lyrics in the Guardian's Valentines pages, installing a mirrorball in the "vilest alley in Liverpool", and various objects to commemorate ordinary lives and deaths; he is now planning a nationwide exhibition of spray-painted cars, gurning competitions, crop circles and other folk art.
Meanwhile, Momus weighs in, comparing Deller's socially-aware art with the terminally conservative and staid nature of rock, in particular, the rigidly formulaic variety that graces the pages of NME:
UK rock and pop awards in 2004 showed pop music, and specifically rock, to be in a terminally mannerist and museumlike place; dead, irrelevant, tongue-in-cheek, out of touch with contemporary events, as conservative and hung up on the past as opera or classical music at their most decadent, smug, pastichey and tribute-ridden. Awards like the Brits and the NME Carling this year went to sadly Spinal Tappish bands like The Darkness, The Libertines and Kings of Leon, whose moronic-ironic pomo neo-primal rockism seemed to narrow the world down to retro-reverence and in-joke tribute-nudges to rock's heyday, the 1970s (did I mention that satanist-turned-celebrity dad Ozzy Osbourne won the NME's 'Godlike genius award'?).