London: Video artist Elizabeth Price, who uses collage and clutter to explore people’s relationship to consumer culture, was named the winner of British art’s much-coveted—and much-mocked—Turner Prize on Monday.
Price, a London-based musician and co-founder of 1980s indie-pop group Talulah Gosh, beat three other finalists to snag the £25,000 ($40,000) prize, which is awarded annually to a British artist under 50.
She was presented with the award by actor Jude Law at a ceremony at London’s Tate Britain gallery. The judges praised Price’s “seductive and immersive” video installations, which combine moving images, text and music.
One piece, “The Woolworths Choir of 1979,” hauntingly juxtaposes news footage of a deadly department store blaze with clips of church architecture and musical girl groups. Another work, “West Hinder,” was inspired by a ship that sank in 2002 with its cargo of luxury cars.
Price began making films only a few years ago, but the prize judges said she had created a “powerful body of work over the last three years.”
In accepting the prize, Price said her career would be “unimaginable” without public support for the arts and hailed the other shortlisted artists, saying they had shared “respect, camaraderie and a sense of the absurd.”
She said being nominated had brought her work to a wider audience and the prize money would allow her to “carry on working and make new ambitious things.”
Price was one of two film and video artists among the finalists, along with Scotland’s Luke Fowler.
The Turner Prize, named after 19th-century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, was established in 1984 to honor younger British artists. It often sparks heated debate about the value of modern art.
Past winners include transvestite potter Grayson Perry, dung-daubing artist Chris Ofili and shark pickler Damien Hirst.
This year, most media attention had focused on pop-performance artist Spartacus Chetwynd, who creates carnival-style spectacles inspired by everything from Michael Jackson’s music to “Star Wars” character Jabba The Hutt, and illustrator Paul Noble, who produces drawings of a dystopian imaginary city populated by human excrement. Work by the four finalists is on show at Tate Britain until 6 January. AP