Saturday 20 January 2018

Turner Prize 2012: Spartacus on the shortlist

Spartacus Chetwynd
Spartacus Chetwynd

A woman who changed her name to Spartacus and an artist fascinated by bodily functions are on the shortlist for the Turner Prize.

The 2012 nominees for Britain’s foremost art prize are Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler, Paul Noble and Elizabeth Price.

The £25,000 (€30,000) award which is given to the year’s most outstanding British artist aged under 50 and sparks an annual debate about the merits of modern art.

Chetwynd is a performer, Fowler works in film and photography, Noble creates technical drawings and Price presents video installations.

According to the jury, the nominees share “a common sense of humanity and lack of arrogance” and an interest in the 1960s and 1970s - the eras in which they were growing up.

Work by the shortlisted artists will be shown in an exhibition at Tate Britain, opening on October 2.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony on December 3. Last year the prize went to Martin Boyce and previous winners include Howard Hodgkin, Anish Kapoor and Grayson Perry.

Spartacus Chetwynd, 38

Chetwynd is a live performer who changed her name from Lali to Spartacus in 2006 in a tribute to the Roman gladiator. “Like my art, my name change annoys people. The moment it stops annoying people, I will rename myself again,” she has said.

According to her official biography, she “lives and works in a nudist colony in South London”.

Her theatrical performances involve audience participation, taking in element of game shows or carnivals with a riot of homemade costumes and props and a varying ensemble of friends and family.

The Walk to Dover 2005 involved Chetwynd and her troupe dressing as Victoria street urchins to retrace the steps of Dickens’ David Copperfield.

She is nominated for her solo exhibition at the Sadie Coles gallery in London

Luke Fowler, 34

The Glaswegian artist is best known for his film portraits of public figures who have become “marginalised or maligned”.

He has made a trilogy of films exploring the ideas of RD Laing, the Scottish psychiatrist, and a film about the avant-garde Scottish composer Cornelius Cardew.

His films “expand and question the principles at the heart of the documentary project”.

Fowler is nominated for his solo exhibition at Inverleith House, Edinburgh

Paul Noble, 48

Born in Northumberland, Noble now lives and works in London where he produces elaborate drawings.

For the past 16 years he has worked on his fictional metropolis, Nobson Newtown, creating drawings that are monumental in scale but painstaking in their detail.

In the words of the jury, it is “a dystopian world where people become turds and turds become people”.

Noble created Public Toilet 1999, which features phantasmagoric scenery “complete with imposing mountain formations overcast by thick clouds depositing huge droplets over the exposed urinals and showers”.

He is nominated for his solo exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery, London

Elizabeth Price, 45

Price was born in Bradford and is a former member of 1980s pop band Talulah Gosh.

Her video installations combine image, sound and textual fragments to explore commodity and consumerism. They often focus on specific objects, ranging from discarded hubcaps to kitsch figurative ornaments.

Her most recent work, West Hinder 2012, was inspired by the sinking of a cargo ship in 2002 with nearly 3,000 luxury cars on board. The soundtrack consists of vocabulary from the cars’ technical manuals and marketing information.

Price lives and works in London. She was nominated for her solo exhibition at Baltic, Gateshead

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