Turner Prize nominee, Paul Noble: Public Toilet, 1999, pencil on paper.

Work / Art

A quick, questioning look at the Turner Prize nominees announced today

Let’s pick up where we left off last year shall ww, with a nice rhetorical question – what do this year’s nominations for the Turner Prize mean about the state of British art?

The quartet up for scrutiny are one digital moving image and video installation artist, Elizabeth Price; one fine-art draftsman, Paul Noble; one art filmmaker, Luke Fowler; and one magnificently-named performance artist, Spartacus Chetwynd.

Here are some more questions: Does Chetwynd, whose esoterically amateurish performance pieces once centred around Jabba the Hutt, carry the “controversy” card? Will the temporal illustrative phantasmagoria so meticulously depicted by Noble push drawing forward as a critical contemporary art form? Does Price’s installation work open the door to the hugely charged sea of new, younger, digital artists? And will the youngest name on the list, the multi-various Fowler with his fascinating and involved film work, re-address the conventions of how we categorise artists?

It may well get a rise out of a certain section of the media and, at any rate, it almost doesn’t matter, as long as we’re talking about art.