Turner Prize 2013 Shortlist

The Turner Prize intends to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art. This year it will be held in Dublin for the first time.

November 8, 2013
by Robert Hugill
The 2013 Edition of the Turner Prize, Northern Ireland

The 2013 Edition of the Turner Prize, Northern Ireland

This year’s Turner Prize will be presented in Northern Ireland for the first time. The nominees are having their work exhibited in Derry, Northern Ireland, as part of the city’s UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations. The four nominated artists: Laure Prouvost, Tino Seghat, David Shrigley, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye have their work exhibited from 23rd October 2013 to the 5th January 2014, with the winner being announced at an awards ceremony on Monday 2 December 2013.

The exhibition’s setting has highly political resonances. To attend, one must cross the river Fogle (which historically divided Protestants and Catholics), traverse the square where the British Army once marched, and then walk through the former army depot. The exhibition is not in a gallery, nor a museum or a stately home, but instead built within the barracks where soldiers were stationed throughout Northern Ireland’s bloody and controversial history. The setting makes prior contentions regarding the Turner Prize exhibitions seem pedantic; this year we must concentrate on the content.

Laure Prouvost’s entry is a film homage to her late grandfather, a prolific artist and friend of Kurt Schwitters. It gradually becomes apparent that this referenced grandfather is fictitious and that his art contains within it an element of the absurd. French-born Prouvost won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women with a two-part installation presented in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery.

Tino Seghat’s entry involves a young man approaching you and offering money to engage in conversation. These Associations, Seghat’s previous work for the Tate Modern, involved strangers talking to strangers. Seghal’s art consists purely of live encounters between people, and demonstrates a sensitivity to their institutional context.

David Shrigley’s entry pokes fun at our ideas about art. Visitors are all invited to draw the star of the show – an animatronic man in the nude. He is not an model of convention nor beauty; with a large nose and ears, tall, thin and urinating into a bucket. Shrigley’s solo exhibition at The Hayward Gallery, David Shrigley: Brain Activity, offered an overview and new perspectives on his work, with well-loved drawings plus photography, sculpture and film.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye presents a series of black on black paintings, not quite portraits but not narratives either. Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings appear traditional but are in fact of imaginary people with invented histories. Yiadom-Boakye was nominated for her exhibition Extracts and Verses, at Chisendale Gallery.

The Turner Prize was established in 1984; the 2013 prize is awarded to a British artist under fifty, for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding 16 April 2013. It is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art.