Why the 2019 Turner Prize Winners’ Decision to Split the Award’s $52,000 Purse Is Radical
Art Business

Why the 2019 Turner Prize Winners’ Decision to Split the Award’s $52,000 Purse Is Radical

The winners of the 2019 Turner Prize. From left to right, Tai Shani, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, and Oscar Murillo. Each year, the Turner Prize , the most prominent art award in the United Kingdom, makes people angry. But the reason some were up in arms this year was entirely different—there was not one winner, but four. At its award ceremony last night, the Turner Prize was given to all four of the shortlisted artists—Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani—who had requested that they be considered for the prize as a collective . Their aim, they wrote in a letter submitted to the jury, was to call for “solidarity”—a plea that the issues they deal with in their work be given equal respect. “The politics we deal with differ greatly, and for us it would feel problematic if they were pitted against each other, with the implication that one was more important, significant or more worthy of attention than the others,” the artists wrote. Four Shortlisted Artists Split 2019 Turner Prize Win Seeing all four of the attendees take the stage together last night to accept the win was moving—even for this writer, who […]

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