CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Turner Prize

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 30, 2015

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Sadly Janice Kerbel’s choral piece was ‘off’ for the hols, but the juxtaposition between Assemble’s ‘craftivist’ community-focused regeneration of Four Streets in Granby, Liverpool, on the one hand and Bonnie Camplin’s study centre on the community kidnapped by extra-terrestrials was compelling. In one room we found a catalogue of hand-made objects which spoke to our desire for the worthy poor to have quality fittings (for which we might read ‘to become middle class’). And of course we can buy the objects ourselves, reinforcing our sense of our own good taste. In the other we are faced with a wholly other ‘other’, clearly a population of nutjobs with whom we have nothing in common. Except that in the library (and I’ll admit to a particular fondness for libraries – see previous writing on the Martha Rosler Library and of course the ecoartscotland library) there are books that I have on my shelves. I hope everyone found something that they connected with, bringing them one or two steps closer to the individuals in the video interviews – I watched a bit with a woman talking about reptilian aliens.
It would have been the obvious decision to give the prize to this or the room with fur coats over the backs of chairs – perhaps the red topped newspapers wouldn’t even have bothered making the usual fuss. The provocative decision was to award the prize to Assemble, but they aren’t exactly radical social practice – they lack a sharp enough political edge.

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