Mr Bear, Mark Wallinger, Wins The 2007 Turner Prize

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 04 December 2007
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a photograph of a gallery with placards with various slogans on them

Mark Wallinger, State Britain at Tate Britain has won the 2007 Turner Prize.

Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize 2007 for his installation at Tate Britain, State Britain, a direct representation of the anti-war banners and paraphernalia of Brian Haw's protest in Parliament Square.

The prize was presented at Tate Liverpool by award-winning actor, director and art collector, Dennis Hopper, in an evening ceremony on Monday December 3 2007 and broadcast live on Channel 4 News.

The jury commended Wallinger's work for its "immediacy, visceral intensity and historic importance". The work combines a bold political statement with art's ability to engage with social issues.

Wallinger, who said winning the prize had been an extremely painful experience, first made the shortlist in 1995 but lost out to Damien Hirst. "I am indebted to all those people who contributed to the making of State Britain," he added.

It is thought that 15 people helped him recreate Haw's protest - in the minutest detail - from the banners to the tarpaulin shelter that Haw camped out in. Haw began his protest against economic sanctions in Iraq in June 2001 but was finally removed by police in May 2006 after an Act of Parliament was passed prohibiting demonstrations within a 1km radius of Parliament Square.

a photograph of a person in a bear outfit looking at two people on the other side of a glass door

Mark Wallinger, Sleeper, 2004-5. Video still. Tate. Presented by Tate Members 2006

The Turner Prize is being held at Tate Liverpool this year as a curtain-raiser for Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

It is the first time since it began in 1984 that the prize has been staged outside London and more than 45,000 visitors have filed through the galleries of Tate Liverpool to see the work of the four shortlisted artists.

However, for the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Liverpool, Wallinger chose a rather different piece of work - a film of himself wandering around a Berlin gallery dressed as a bear.

The Turner Prize 2007 has been supported by Arts Council England, Liverpool Culture Company, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Milligan and Tate Members. With the support of the sponsors, this year's prize fund was £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner.

The other artists on the shortlist, Zarina Bhimji, Mike Nelson and Nathan Coley, each received £5,000.

Turner Prize 2007 runs at Tate Liverpool until January 13 2008. The prize will return to Tate Britain in 2008.

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