The Tate is a few minutes walk from my office, and I popped down there this lunch time to take a look at the exhibition of the shortlisted artists for this year’s Turner Prize. The prize is for artists under fifty and recognises their work over the year, not just what is exhibited at the Tate. It tends to attract controversy in the media, because the art is generally unconventional. The cry goes up that it’s not art, a waste of time and money, etc, etc. All of which is nonsense, of course.
This year’s winner was Helen Marten, who is originally from Macclesfield. The Tate blurb declared that “Her collage-like gatherings of objects and images have a playful intent, creating poetic visual puzzles that seem to invite us into a game or riddle”. Yeah, OK….
I enjoyed the show. For me it was art as fun, entertainment. Thought-provoking, because you ask yourself, what is the artist trying to achieve here? And visually arresting at times. Of the four artists on show, that certainly applied to my favourite, Anthea Hamilton. I liked her brick wallpaper and suit, the images of a London sky – and of course The Bum, officially known as “Project for a Door (After Gaetano Pesce)”. The said Italian designer had planned something similar for a doorway on a New York apartment block. Strangely, it never happened. Judging by the comments on the notes pinned to a board (see later) The Bum (or Butt) was the star attraction. No surprise – you couldn’t but smile.
The other work which I found striking was Michael Dean’s “United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016”. It is £2o,436 in pennies, minus one penny, to symbolise being below the poverty line. Its physical being makes you think hard about that. One wag in the comments said he’d chucked an extra penny onto the pile, so it was enough! I don’t doubt a few have been nicked too.
A few photos and then a selection of the comments that people left.
This one summed up quite a few!
Gotta agree with this.
Clearly appealed to young kids. That is good!
I felt I had to say something. I reverted to my list tendency.