Sunday 15 December 2019

Spartacus in running for art prize

The shortlist has been announced to find a successor for Martin Boyce, who won the Turner Prize in 2011
The shortlist has been announced to find a successor for Martin Boyce, who won the Turner Prize in 2011

A man who has spent 15 years drawing an imaginary city whose residents are human excrement who have sex in public, and a woman who changed her name to Spartacus have been nominated for this year's Turner Prize.

Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble, Luke Fowler and Elizabeth Price have all been shortlisted for the controversial art award.

Performance artist Chetwynd, 38, who "lives and works in a nudist colony in south London", changed her name from Lali on her 33rd birthday "to remind people they have a choice in life".

She puts on puppet performances with a group of friends and family using her own handmade costumes and sets. Her work includes An Evening With Jabba The Hutt 2003, in which she recast the villain from Return Of The Jedi as a "Stevie Wonder-type smooth operator".

Noble, 48, from London, has been creating detailed drawings of a fictional city, Nobson Newtown, for the last 15 years. The inhabitants of the partially-ruined city are living excrement, who, in some scenes, engage in orgies.

Fowler, 34, from Glasgow, is shortlisted for his film exploring the life and work of Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing.

Price, 45, from London, is in the running for the contemporary art prize for a trilogy of video installations.

The £40,000 Turner Prize sees £25,000 go to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.

The prize, established in 1984, is given to a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the 12 months before April 24 2012. It was won last year by Martin Boyce with his piece, Do Words Have Voices

Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis, who is chair of the jury, said of the shortlist: "They are artists that have brought a kind of slowness of looking, it's not a quick fix. None of these works are something that you can get in a few minutes. You have to spend an hour or two to get it, whether it's film, drawing or performance."

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