The Turner Prize was named as such due to the nature of J. M. W. Turner's work, which caused controversy and altered the style of painting within the English Romantics. Artists who are awarded the Turner Prize aim to do a similar thing: change the current status quo.
In 2019, it seems this sentiment is as strong as ever. Last night, rather than the Turner Prize being awarded to one single artist, all four shortlisted candidates now share the 2019 Turner Prize. The collective decided to make a stand against the divisive political climate.
“At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity—in art as in society.”
Oscar Murillo, a painter and installation artist, is known for exploring issues around migration, globalised trade, and collaborating with different communities to create his artwork. Murillo was nominated for his work Violent Amnesia at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and Oscar Murillo/Zhang Enli at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, and his work at the 10th Berlin Biennale.
Helen Cammock works across several mediums, including film, photography, print and performance. Aiming to uncover marginalised voices within history, Cammock focusses on non-linear narratives within her work to highlight how the individual and society are innately connected. She was nominated for The Long Note at Void Gallery, Derry.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan is known for investigating the part that audio and voices play within human rights, and the ‘politics of listening’. Through audio-visual installations, photography and researching alongside leading human rights charities, Abu Hamdan aims to acquire aural testimonies for legal cases. The artist was nominated for Earwitness Theatre at Chisenhale, Walled Unwalled and After SFX, both exhibited at Tate Modern, London.
Tai Shani uses performance, film and sculptural installations to create utopian and fantastical worlds, aiming to highlight characters and narratives from oft-forgotten periods. These narratives frequently focus on the role of women and subjective femininity. The artist was nominated for her work at Glasgow International 2018, her exhibition DC: Seriamis at The Tetly, Leeds and her work in Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance at Nottingham Contemporary and the De Le Warr Pavilion.
For more information about the artists and the prize itself, visit the Tate website.