bory on Wed, 30 Oct 2002 15:33:25 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-ro] For your attention

Bory spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought you should see it.

Note from Bory:

Reactzii la Turner Prize , tate Britain, Londra.

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to

Air sickness overtakes porn in Turner stakes
Fiachra Gibbons, arts correspondent
Tuesday October 29 2002
The Guardian

There have been maggots feasting on the remains of a cow's putrefied brains and the bloody swath Damien Hirst cut through a Surrey abattoir with a chainsaw. But yesterday the Turner Prize produced the most stomach-churning exhibit in its 18-year history of iconoclasm and notoriety. 

And it wasn't, as the curators might have intended, the artist Fiona Banner's grunt-by-grunt transcription of the American porn film, Arsewoman in Wonderland, nor the anal sex fantasies she scribbled down afterwards in her bedroom, but an altogether more innocent-sounding piece.  

Two minutes into the film Flight by the photographer Catherine Yass, you could hear the unmistakable sound of retching in the dark.  

All of a sudden, down the corridor from the Gainsboroughs and the Sickerts, Tate Britain had a white-knuckle ride on its hands to rival Alton Towers' Black Hole.  

Yass buzzed BBC Broadcasting House in London with a camera strapped to a toy helicopter, and the resulting film had at least two art world glitterati spluttering on their Jimmy Choo shoes yesterday at the preview.  

Unfortunately, while the Tate took it upon itself to warn the public that it might be offended by Banner's meticulous descriptions of hardcore porn, no one thought it necessary to provide sick bags for viewers of Yass's beautiful but queasily realistic meditations on falling from tall buildings.  

There was no escaping the bile, in fact, with a now traditional picket by Stuckists outside the gallery, protesting at the still more traditional absence of painters on the shortlist of four for the £20,000 prize that makes and breaks careers.  

In another annual ritual, Stephen Deuchar, the Tate Britain director, was harrumphed at by the painter Edna Weiss, who maintained that most of what was on display, and particularly Banner's porn movie, was "utter rubbish".  

But even Ivan Massow, the former chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Art, who was sacked for dismissing most conceptual art as "pretentious, self-indulgent craftless tat", conceded that the selection was a vast improvement on last year's "light switch fiasco".  

Massow, who is now running the rival £20,000 Barbie Prize for young pepole, confessed he would be happy to have a Yass photograph adorning his walls.  

Banner's word-painting Mother, cataloguing her fantasies after watch Arsewoman in Wonderland, was "lovely", he said, so long as you didn't take too close a look.  

He predicted Banner would be the winner. Most art world insiders, however, begged to differ, dismissing Banner's shock schlock as "oldish hat". Instead it was Yass and Keith Tyson who were last night emerging as favourites among the cognescenti.  

The bookmakers agreed, with William Hill making Tyson and his cod Heath Robinson proposals for huge neon dinosaurs and a Galactic Central Pointer, "a finger that remains pointing at the centre of the Milky Way, the 11/8 favourite after taking taking a string of £250 bets on him before the show opened.  

Tyson's two main works on display are New Capacitor, a large mirrored make-up compact with a digital counter underneath designed to run for 76.5 years, the average human lifespan in Britain, and The Thinker, inspired by Rodin, a covered bank of computers he calls a "comatose god running its own universe".  

He is chiefly famous, however, for his inventing an "Artmachine" to do his creating for him. It was it, he claims, which told him to cast the entire Kentucky Fried Chicken menu.  

The architectural artist Liam Gillick has perhaps created the most beautiful entry, a dropped ceiling of multi-coloured perspex reminiscent of Mondrian. But it cut little ice with the bookies, who made him the rank outsider.    

  The nominees

   Keith Tyson
 Age  33  Born  Ulverston, Cumbria
 11-8 favourite   

The man who created an "Artmachine" to come up with ideas for his pieces, has papered his space at the Tate with his proposals for eccentric, comic book, cod-philosophical projects  

 Catherine Yass
 Age  39  Born  London
 2-1 second favourite   

Best known for her lightbox portraits of people and empty spaces, corridors and prison cells. She specialises in giving her pictures and films an eerie, supernatural feel    

  Fiona Banner
 Age  37 Born  Merseyside
 11-4 third favourite   

Began making full-length wordscapes of Vietnam war films and has now moved on to porn to challenge the way we "compartmentalise private and public behaviour"  

  Liam Gillick
 Age 39  Born Aylesbury
 7-2 outsider   

Like Yass and Banner, another alumni of Goldsmiths, the college from which Brit Art sprang. Fascinated by the effect the modernist movement has had on the way we live now.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
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