3 Dec 2012

Turner Prize 2012: the nominees

One lucky artist will tonight be awarded the £25,000 Turner Prize and be catapulted into art world fame. So who are the four nominees? Let Channel 4 News be your guide.

Turner Prize 2012: the nominees

For years the Turner Prize shortlist has been met with criticism and the inevitable cries of “but is it art?”

However critics appeared quietly content with the four artists and their exhibitions selected for the 2012 prize. There is an abundance of technical skill in all of the work which probably helped – a claim that can not always be levelled at the Turner Prize nominated works – as well as a diverse range of mediums and theory on display.

Fans of the more provocative work will not be disappointed either. This is the first year a performance artist has been nominated, and there is also sculptures of copulating poo and a 93 minute film amongh the exhibition.

The four nominated artists – Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler, Elizabeth Price and Paul Noble – explore themes of consumerism, social and cultural spaces and performance through technical drawings, film installations, and mixed media of imagery, texts and music.

Bookmaker William Hill has selected Paul Noble (and his piles of poo) as favourite to win, but we will know for sure tonight, when the winner is announced on Channel 4 News at 7.50pm. The lucky artist will take home £25,000 and the other shortlisted artists will receive £5,000 each.

All videos below courtesy of the Tate.

Spartacus Chetwynd

Spartacus Chetwynd – who changed her name from Lali in 2006 – is the artist who famously turned up to the opening of her exhibition wearing a fake black beard to accompany her dress. The 39-year-old is a performance artist and creates sculptural installations using handmade costumes and sets. Her performances are in a carnival style which blur the boundary between performer and spectator, often inviting members of the audience to take part, and mix a distinctive DIY feel with a large element of fun.

For the Turner Prize exhibition Ms Chetwynd has restaged key moments from her nominated exhibition Odd Man Out 2011 which addressed ideas of democracy and the consequences of decision making through two folksy plays acted by puppets.

Paul Noble

Nominated for his solo exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, London, Paul Noble brought together painstakingly detailed pencil drawings of his fictional metropolis Nobson Newtown, which he has been working on for the last 20 years. The work reveals a dark, satirical narrative, running throughout very precise, technical drawings, as well as black and white sculptures of what can only be described as copulating turds.

“My drawings begin with their title…What was writing on a page becomes a building or place,” he says of his work.

Mr Noble is the only artist who is showing new work for his Turner Prize exhibition: five new pencil drawings, in additon to another five from a previous exhibition and three sculptures.

Elizabeth Price

Nominated for her exhibition at the BALTIC Centre in Gateshead, Elizabeth Price reanimates archives of imagery, texts and music in an attempt to explore our relationship to objects and consumer culture. Her films, or digital montages, guide the viewer through immersive virtual spaces, derived from the cultural symbols and artefacts from the material world.

The artist describes her films as moving “from something that looks like a PowerPoint lecture, to something that looks like an infomercial to something that feels like a cinematic melodrama”.

For the Turner Prize exhibition, Ms Price has presented her video installation The Woolworths Choir of 1979, which merges fact – a fire at a Woolworths store in which 10 people died – with fiction. In three parts, it brings together photographs of church architecture, internet clips of pop performances and news footage of the notorious 1979 Woolworths fire in a Woolworths.

Luke Fowler

The video submitted to the Turner Prize by Luke Fowler is perhaps the most challenging work for the audience, lasting a whole 93 minutes long. Previously exhibited at Inverleith House in Edinburgh, his film explores the life and the ideas of Scottish psychiatrist, RD Laing (1927–89) and questions the psychiatrist’s own state of mind.

He hopes that interweaving new material with old footage will help reveal how the relationship between individuals and society changes in time.

“The starting points can be different catalysts. Either events in my life or something I’ve read, or a piece of music I’m listening to,” the artist says of his films. “But generally they stem from a sort of concern of trying to understand a question.”