Turner Prize 2014 at Tate Britain
The Turner Prize, established in 1984, promotes discussion of developments in contemporary British art. The shortlist for this year’s prize is unveiled in exhibition at Tate Britain. The winner of the award will be announced live on Channel 4 by British actor Chiewtele Ejiofor on 1st December. The exhibition is open to public from 30th September until 4th January 2015.
The exhibition starts with the work of James Richard’s film Rosebud. The film is a series of censored photographs from Tokyo Metropolitan Library paired with surrounding noises. Richard’s other works in the exhibition include The Screens and Untitled Merchandise (Lovers and Dealers). The latter captures lovers and art dealers close to artist Keith Haring on large blankets that hang on the wall. These large thick blankets are usually used to depict members of the US military; by repurposing these blankets Richard adds a weight and importance to these figures in Haring’s life.
The following room showcases the work of Tris Vonna-Michell. It is clear that he draws from his own past and experiences in creating his work. The film installation Finding Chopin: Dans l’Essex centres around French poet Henri Chopin – an integral figure in his work. Postscript IV (Berlin) is based on his mother’s life as a child in post-war Germany. The overlapping monologue is slower and more intimate than Finding Chopin, a personal and multi-layered narrative. Vonna-Michell draws from his own past experience to create his work.
400 individual screen prints cover the walls of the next room exhibiting Ciara Phillips’ work. The bright playful colours are in stark contrast to the dark previous and final rooms. Each print appears to be the same as the next, however all the prints were done by uniquely hand-making each. Phillips prefers the use of letters instead of words as they can often be limiting, whereas letters open the discussion.
Final nominee Duncan Campbell’s piece It for Others explores different forms of documenting our view of history. It offers a response to Chris Marker and Alains’ 1953 film Statues Also Die, which explored the impact of colonialism on African art and heritage.
The ideas explored by each artist are as different as are their mediums. This juxtaposition is complementary, joining the artists’ works together to create a well-rounded exhibition that displays a multitude of exploratory themes.
Hannah St Jean
Photos: Rosie Yang
Turner Prize 2014 is at Tate Britain until 4th January 2015, for further information visit here.