This year’s Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain is set to be nothing short of bizarre, shocking and immensely confusing with the four nominees presenting work of an outstanding quality that is as thought-provoking as it’s possible to get.
Opening the exhibition of Turner prize nominees is the distinctly humorous art work of Paul Noble who presents his cheeky pencil sketches of his 16 year-old fictitious town of Nobson which, with all its beauty and prosperity, is populated by several turd-shaped beings – a rather tongue-in-cheek idea of conceptual art and will possibly be the last we see of it as Noble announces he is to begin on a new project. Filmmaker Luke Fowler showcases his 2011 documentary on his specialist subject of Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing. A full 90 minutes long, making tomorrow’s show a fairly lengthy experience, ‘All Divided Selves’ reveals people’s false ideas concerning Laing’s sanity with sound bites from Gay Byrne and Janet Street Porter and the suggestion that the psychological definitions of schizophrenia could put anyone away in a mental institution.
Elizabeth Price’s disturbing audio visual, ‘The Woolworths Choir of 1979’ is a mere 20 minutes long contrasting the upbeat scene of ‘60s girl band The Shangri-Las performing with a frantic clip of a person screaming for help stuck inside a store from news footage of the 1979 Woolworths store fire in Manchester which claimed the lives of 10 people. Finally, Spartacus Chatwynd is on another level of bizarre with his live performances showing him and his show troupe dressing as trees and flailing their branches about. Putting a morbid downer on this year’s Turner Prize event is the recent death of one of the Turner prize judges Michael Stanley, who sadly won’t be around to judge the winner on December 3, 2012.