It's Pablo Pic-arsehole: Turner Prize wannabe hits rock bottom
A pretty pile of penny coins, a train set and more twee crap vie for this year's bonkers art gong
A giant sculpture of a human arse, £20,000 in one-pence coins, and an off-the-shelf model train are some of the exhibits competing for this year's Turner Prize.
The giant polystyrene posterior, by Anthea Hamilton, is based on a 1970s design for an entrance into a New York block of flats.
“Gaetano’s ribald and stupid proposal (a sort of absurd Ozymandias) can also be seen as a tradesman’s entrance, or a poor door into the smart apartment block” burbled the Guardian, which, despite trying to talk about other stuff in the room, confessed that it is “hard to take your eyes off that giant arse.”
Alongside the massive posterior and the brick suit are “unwearable” chastity belts which the Grauniad's Adrian Searle, fresh from gazing into the cleft of the giant fundament, winced “would do you a mischief” if you tried putting one on.
Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize is named after JMW Turner, famous for paintings of yellow-tinted landscapes and The Fighting Temeraire, featuring the warship which rescued Admiral Nelson's HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
The award aims to “provoke debate about art.” Winners scoop £40,000 apiece while shortlisted artists walk off with a cheque for five grand.
Even top BBC arts wonk Will Gompertz (and his legendary bald-patch-with-mullet hairdo) had a good old moan about the “unintelligible gibberish” that Turner Prize curators write about the shortlisted artists. Perhaps he has a point:
Helen Marten uses sculpture, screen printing and writing to produce works that are full of models and motifs taken from contemporary visual culture. Through placement of her collage-like accumulation of these familiar reference points alongside immaculately crafted handmade objects, Marten creates poetic, pictorial puzzles that draw on the gestures and imagery of our everyday lives...
Marten's contribution to the cultural life of Great Britain includes some sort of scrap metal caterpillar and intriguing photo collages, which can be seen over on the Beeb.
Another exhibit is an off-the-shelf large-scale model train, installed by Josephine Pryde. Similar exhibitions of hers in the US have allowed visitors to actually sit on the train and drive it back and forth – yes, it's that big. In the UK, however, you cannot make the train move. Apparently there's leaves on the line. It's bottom right in the embedded tweet below:
By Googling the serial number and company name on it, El Reg discovered that the train is a straightforward off-the-shelf retail purchase, which led us to a handy webpage from its makers. Art and train buffs alike will be delighted to know that they can buy an exact replica of the Turner Prize-shortlisted 5" gauge, four motor, 24V Class 66 train for a smidge under £4,000. Track is not included.
Finally, Michael Dean offered up £20,436 in one-pence coins.
Your correspondent is considering entering next year's Turner Prize with a crowdfunded 1:2 scale model of a Vulcan nuclear bomber. Hey, if you can enter with a giant model train, why not a giant model plane? ®