Elizabeth Price wins Turner Prize 2012

By Culture24 Reporter | 03 December 2012
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A photo of a series of silver mechanisms with the word here beamed above them
Elizabeth Price, User Group Disco (2009)© Elizabeth Price, courtesy MOTInternational, London

Elizabeth Prize, whose hauntingly powerful 20-minute video was perhaps the most affecting piece in this year's exhibition at Tate Britain, has won the Turner Prize 2012.

The Bradford-born artist, whose work featured a fire in a Manchester branch of Woolworths, dedicated her win to Michael Stanley, the former director of Modern art Oxford who died earlier this year.

Speaking in the build-up to the announcement by actor Jude Law during Channel 4's live coverage of the Prize, comedian Noel Fielding said Price's work had made him feel close to a panic attack.

The Guardian's art critic, Adrian Searle, praised the work for its resonance with the lives of audiences and elements of personal memory.

Reviewing the show in October, Culture24's Mark Sheerin tipped the winner.

"It is Elizabeth Price who grabs your scruff of the neck," he said.

"It builds with a PowerPoint-style lecture on church architecture and peaks with footage of girl band The Shangri-Las.

"By the time she is enumerating the deaths of 10 shoppers, you feel as exhausted and helpless as the firecrews.

"Price is adept at generating excitement out of archival material, doing so here with an array of jump cuts, handclaps and finger clicks."

Price, who will receive £25,000, has emerged victorious from a shortist widely acknowledged as one of the strongest in recent years.

Luke Fowler's mesmerising video about the psychiatrist RD Laing, Paul Noble's infinitesimally-detailed, headline-attracting drawings of stools and Spartacus Chetwynd's energetic, edgy performance art completed the compelling quartet of nominees.

There was one unavoidable subplot to this year's award: in an interview moments before the result, Tate Director Nicholas Serota implored the government to increase provision for art and creativity on curricula. Law's opening words were passionately critical of arts cuts.

The urge to voice fiercely-held views on primetime television was perhaps understandable. As usual, the Turner has provided a platform for controversial opinions.


More pictures:


A photo of a darkened screen with a face on it
Luke Fowler, All Divided Selves (2011). Installation view Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2012). Commissioned by CCS Bard Galleries, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College© Courtesy Luke Fowler, The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. Photo: Alan Dimmick
A photo of a grey pencil illustration of a richly detailed maze landscape beneath a hill
Paul Noble, Public Toilet (1999)© Paul Noble / Gagosian, London
A photo of two figures with bags over their heads in front of a green screen on a stage
Spartacus Chetwynd, Odd Man out (2011)© Courtesy Spartacus Chetwynd / Sadie Coles HQ, London
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