News / Art

Turner Prize shortlist announcement sees politics at the forefront of selected work


Luke Willis Thompson: autoportait, 2017. Installation view, Chisenhale Gallery 2017. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and produced in partnership with Create. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate

Tate Britain has announced the four shortlisted artists for this year’s 2018 Turner Prize award. The four creatives include Forensic Architecture an independent research agency based at Goldsmiths university, Naeem Mohaiemen, Charlotte Prodger and Luke Willis Thompson.

Each of the artists have been chosen for particular pieces of recent work, some of which will be exhibited at the Tate Britain from 25 September — 6 January 2019. The winning artist will be announced in December. Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain says this year’s artists were selected following “a thoughtful and rigorous debate,” with the jury choosing “an outstanding group of artists, all of whom are tackling the most pressing political and humanitarian issues of today,” he says. “This shortlist highlights how important the moving image has become in exploring these debates.”

Forensic Architecture have been selected for their participation in documenta 14 (a series of contemporary art exhibitions which takes place every five years) and a number of recent solo exhibitions in London, Barcelona and Mexico. The judging jury particularly praised the research agency for its ability to develop “highly innovative methods for sourcing and visualising evidence relating to human rights abuses around the world, used in courts of law as well as exhibitions of art and architecture,” explains Tate.

Naeem Mohaiemen’s work at documenta 14 has also been highlighted, as well as his MoMA PS1 exhibition, Naeem Mohaiemen; There is No Last Man. The artist’s work spans across writing, film and mixed media pieces with the Tate noting Naeem’s films exploring “post-colonial identity, migration, exile and refuge through narratives using fiction and social history that combine the traumas of history with his own family stories”.

Charlotte Prodger’s work continues the thread of politics within the shortlisted artists, specifically within her solo exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, Bridgit / Stoneymollan Trail.”The jury praised Prodger for the nuanced way in which she deals with identity politics, particularly from a queer perspective,” says Tate. Within the exhibition Charlotte’s film, using various technologies including camcorders and iPhones, pieces together a “complex narrative exploring relationships between queer bodies, landscape, language, technology and time.”

The final shortlisted artist, Luke Willis Thompson, also works within film and has been selected for his exhibition autoportrait which took place at Chisenhale gallery. A study of grief, the exhibition “addresses representations of race and police violence,” explain Tate. Contrasting analogue and new media across performance and film, the artist’s work “investigates the treatment of minority communities and the way objects, places and people can be imbued and violence,” says Tate.

The 2018 edition of the Turner Prize additionally sees Tate expand on its partnership with BNP Paribas Group, engaged with encouraging a younger audience to attend the exhibition offering attendees under the age of 25 free entry for the first 25 days of the show.


Naeem Mohaiemen: Tripoli Cancelled, 2017, single channel film.


Forensic Architecture: Saydnaya prison, as reconstructed by Forensic Architecture using architectural and acoustic modelling. Image: Forensic Architecture, 2016


Charlotte Prodger: Still from Bridgit, 2016. Single channel video with sound, 32 minutes. All images courtesy of the artist, Koppe Astner, Glasgow and Hollybush Gardens, London. Photo by Thor Brodreskift