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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Turner (Yawn) Prize Winner Announced

In all the hubbub of Miami post-game analysis and wrap up, the American arts media and blogosphere have overlooked the fact that this year's Turner Prize winner has been announced.

The only reason I know this is that I was in Montreal this morning (Anyone know exactly how cold it is in Montreal right now? It's damn cold.) and I happened to be browsing through The Globe and Mail over breakfast.

Simon Starling has won this year's prize.

As Canada's paper of record, The Globe and Mail did a fine job of not denigrating his work too directly. But the backhanded analysis was all too clear. The story was told with one large photo and a photo caption (that isn't available on line) which I should have saved but didn't. If memory serves me correctly, it went something like this:
Artist Simon Starling has been awarded this year's Turner Prize. Starling is pictured with his work Shedboatshed. For this work Starling disassembled a shed, turned it into a boat, and then rebuilt it as a shed.
Um, sounds trés compelling, right?

OK, so I shouldn't judge until I've seen the work. I didn't think much of last year's Turner Prize nominees, and I don't think I'll think much more of this year's work based on what I've seen on line. But I'll give the work the benefit of the doubt. I've managed to arrange my travel schedule so that I'll get to see the show of nominees' work at the Tate next weekend. I'll have more to say about it then, I'm sure.

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