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Turner prize goes to… a song

turnerThis year’s Turner prize is favoured to go to a song and its singer.  It is the very first time since the prize was developed, in 1984, that a sound installation gained the shortlist.  In it, three distinct adaptations of the Scottish folk song, Lowlands Away, is sung by Susan Phillipsz.

The story of the song is a tale about a man who dies at sea but returns home to inform his lover about his fate.  The Curator of the Tate Britain, where the prize will be awarded, described it as a physical work that fills the otherwise empty gallery.

Dexter Dalwood made the shortlist as well, with a collection of political paintings wherein one features Dr. David Kelly’s death. The Otolith Group and Angela de la Cruz are also in the running on the shortlist.  Each shortlisted artist receives £5000 and the grand prize winner gets an additional £25,000.

While Ms. Phillipsz song might be a slightly controversial artwork, the Turner prize is no stranger to controversy.  Tracey Emin had a shortlisted work in 1999 entitled, My Bed, which was literally her unmade bed, featuring stained sheets.

Martin Creedwhose won the prize for a very much-ridiculed work called, The Lights Going On and Off, back in 2001.

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