This is the Turner Prize for the Instagram generation, and I hope it pisses you off


By now, I'm sure you'll have seen the Turner Prize shortlist has been announced. Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell are all working in collage in some way or another, frequently using images and films they have found on and offline. So once again, film is the medium du jour, with two of the four nominees working with a variant of it.

I'll admit, I wasn't wildly enthused with the winner last year (I was really into the Tino Seghal piece, but that's another chat for another time), but maybe it's because I just couldn't empathise with the piece. But with one of the film artists in this ear's shortlist, I feel a better connection, and I think it's because of my age.

James Richards creates a video collage of YouTube clips, VHS tapes and footage shot by himself or other artists. This mixture of modernity (YouTube) and possibly ironic nostalgia (VHS) is very much a reflection of the Instagram generation, which digitises vintage (or rather vintage-ises digital) and uses Thursday as an excuse to dig out throwbacks.

Maybe this was a deliberate choice - it was once said that the Turner Prize reflects the mood of the country, after all. And in the announcement, it was said that the shortlists suggests "the impact of the internet, cinema, TV and mobile technologies on a new generation of artists". Tres 2014.


Jake and Dinos Chapman, Death

The Turner Prize, with its 'shortlist to annoy everyone', has an impossible job. It aims to glorify a single artist which, for one reason or another (often, but not always, this has gotta be jealousy), really riles everybody else working hard as an artist. And for the rest of the non-arty public who rightfully have a say in the matter, it is pretty much seen as progressive beyond appreciation. But no matter how much it pisses everyone off, it gets people talking about art. What's more, it establishes important names. I first came across the Chapman Brothers upon their Turner Prize nomination and cringed at their attention-seeking vacuous drivel (which is saying something, considering I was an attention-seeking, vacuous and drivelly teen at the time). I wouldn't have been interested in them if they hadn't incensed me years before, but it was just this irritation that drove me through the doors of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in February. That was one heck of an exhibition. And had the Turner Prize not managed to piss off my teenage self so poignantly, I wouldn't have gone in.

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