Terror strikes at the Turner Prize / Art at its very best (or worst)- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: Terror strikes at the Turner Prize / Art at its very best (or worst)
Date: 24 November, 1993
Journal: Guardian
Author: Mike Ellison
Type of resource: News items
Status: original
No. views: 11458
Description: Guardian reports Turner and K-F awards with quotes from Lord Palumbo and Mick Houghton


Terror strikes at the Turner Prize / Art at its very best (or worst)

By Mike Ellison (24 November, 1993, Guardian)

The K foundation, a group of self-styled art terrorists, hijacked the much-derided Turner Prize last night by naming its winner as the worst artist of the year.

Rachel Whiteread won £20,000 from the modern art establishment for the excellence of her work and £40,000 from the foundation for their lack of the same quality.

The K foundation, an offshoot of the KLF rock band, financed its prize through hit records. "She was a fairly convincing winner", said Mick Houghton, spokesman for the foundation which asked the public to fill in ballot forms printed in national newspaper advertisments.

He declined to say how many had voted but said it was more than did so for the Turner, which had five judges, chaired by Nicolas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery.

Whiteread is showing a cast of a room in the Turner exhibition at the Tate, but the work which has attracted most attention is House, a cast of a home in east London, which is due to be demolished next Wednesday.

The Turner judges comended Whiteread for "the ways in which her work engages audiences with issues of immediate relavance to their lives".

The public were impressed or not, for other reasons.

"Whiteread seemed to capture their imagination", said Mr Houghton. "Maybe people just liked the sound of her name, or rather didn't.

"It's mean't to be completely random. I'd be surprised if many of the voters had seen her work, but the idea is to point out the hypocrisy of all these awards."

Lord Palumbo, chairman of the Arts Council, who presented the Turner to Whiteread, said: "Talent at the highest level attracts derision. We must let the artist fail."

[ photo of House with grafitti on the wall "WOT FOR" caption The best of art, the worst of art...Rachel Whiteread's concrete cast of a house in Mile End, London ]

[ In later editions the picture of House was on the front with a short piece reporting that Bow Community Council had ordered its demolition, while the slightly expanded main story was moved to the back page with a photo of Rachel Whiteread carrying the picture frame and the money. ]

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