Turner Prize 2018
25.09.2018 - 06.01.2019
The four shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize 2018 are:
Luke Willis Thompson
The 2018 jury comprises Oliver Basciano, art critic and International Editor at ArtReview; Elena Filipovic, Director, Kunsthalle Basel; Lisa LeFeuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies, Henry Moore Institute; and Tom McCarthy, novelist and writer. The winner of the prize will be announced at an award ceremony in December 2018.
In recent years, Forensic Architecture has distinguished itself by developing pioneering methods for spatial investigations of state and corporate violations worldwide. The group is based at Goldsmiths, University of London and includes architects, filmmakers, software developers, investigative journalists, lawyers and scientists.
Forensic Architecture’s methods respond to our changing media landscape – exemplified in the widespread availability of digital recording equipment, satellite imaging and platforms for data sharing – and propose new modes of open-source, citizen-led evidence gathering and analysis that has already contributed to developments in the fields of human rights, journalism, and visual cultures. Forensic Architecture has worked closely with communities affected by acts of social and political violence, alongside NGOs, environmental justice and human rights groups, activists, and media organisations. Their investigations have provided decisive evidence in a number of legal cases, including in national and international courts in Germany, The Hague, Greece, Israel, Guatemala, as well as in citizen tribunals and human rights processes, leading to military, parliamentary, and UN inquiries. Alongside their presentation in such political and judicial forums, Forensic Architecture’s investigations have also been shown in cultural and artistic venues as examples of the use of creative practice in an image- and data-laden environment.
Forensic Architecture’s presentation in documenta 14 of work which exposed the involvement of the German Internal Security Service in a racially-motivated murder in Kassel led to fierce debates in the Parliamentary Inquiry of the German state of Hessen. Their exhibition in Mexico City’s University Museum of Contemporary Arts (MUAC) launched the result of a year-long investigation into the enforced disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa and affected the human rights and legal debate in relation to this case. Other solo exhibitions at the Museum for Contemporary Arts in Barcelona (MACBA, 2017) and, most recently, ‘Counter Investigations’ (7 March – 13 May 2018), at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London have included both support and a platform for the team’s ongoing investigations. These exhibitions, alongside a number of publications also provide a space for critical reflection of our image, data and media laden culture.
Forensic Architecture was founded in 2010 by architect Eyal Weizman. The creative output of the agency is the result of the intellectual contributions of Forensic Architecture’s wide network of collaborators past and present. The current team of fifteen people is made up of Deputy Director Christina Varvia; Project Coordinators Stefan Laxness, Samaneh Moafi, Francesco Sebregondi, and Omar Ferwati; architects Stefanos Levidis, Nicholas Masterton, and Nathan Su; Programme Manager Sarah Nankivell; design technologist Franc Camps Febrer; filmmaker Simone Rowat; artist Ariel Caine; and lawyer Shourideh Molavi; amongst others. Practitioners affiliated with the agency include media scholar and artist Susan Schuppli, artist and private ear Lawrence Abu Hamdan, who has developed the field of audio investigation, an affiliate group, Forensic Oceanography, who have developed new means of counter-mapping violations of rights of migrants in the Mediterranean, as well as Paulo Tavares/Autonoma and Hannah Martin, who are developing new modes of detecting and mapping environmental destruction and land right violation.
Naeem Mohaiemen was born in 1969 in London, UK, and grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently undertaking a Ph.D. in Anthropology at Columbia University, USA.
Solo exhibitions include: Solidarity Must be Defended, Mahmoud Darwish Museum, Ramallah (2017); There is no Last Man, MoMA PS1, New York (2017); Prisoners of Shothik Itihash, Kunsthalle Basel (2014); The Young Man Was, Experimenter, Kolkata (2011); Live True Life or Die Trying, Cue Art Foundation, New York (2009); and My Mobile Weighs a Ton, Gallery Chitrak, Dhaka (2008). Group shows include: Lahore Biennial (2018); Active Forms, Sharjah (2018); documenta 14 (2017); LUX/ICO Artists’ Cinema, UK (2016); 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014); Dhaka Art Summit (2014); Kiran Nadar, Delhi (2013); British Museum (2013); Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011); Lines of Control, Karachi/ Dubai/ Bradford (2009); Chobi Mela V, Dhaka (2009); Home Works 3, Beirut (2005); and Queens Museum of Art, New York (2005). The work is represented by LUX (UK) and Experimenter (India).
Naeem Mohaiemen’s research-led practice encompasses films, installations, and essays about transnational left politics in the period after the Second World War. He investigates the legacies of decolonisation and the erasing and rewriting of memories of political utopias. Mohaiemen combines autobiography and family history to explore how national borders and passports shape the lives of people in turbulent societies. His work focuses on film archives and the way their contents can be lost, fabricated and reanimated. The hope for an as-yet unborn international left, instead of alliances of race and religion, forms his work.
Naeem writes extensively, publishing essays as companions to his films, appearing in Protichinta (Prothom Alo), Sarai Reader (CSDS), Indian Highway (Serpentine), Assuming Boycott (OR), Occupy (B3 Verlag), Sun Never Sets (NYU), Supercommunity (Verso UK), Sound Unbound (MIT), etc. He co-edited Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism (Drishtipat) and System Error: War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (Papesse). He is a member of the ICA Independent Film Council (UK), as well as activist alliances, including South Asia Solidarity Initiative and Gulf Labor Coalition.
Presented in separate chapters at documenta 14 were four works that covered a range of histories and took a variety of forms. Volume Eleven (flaw in the algorithm of cosmopolitanism) (2017) is a series of diptychs that appeared in South as a State of Mind (documenta 14 journal) and MoMA PS1, looking at Mohaiemen’s great uncle’s misplaced hope that Germany would liberate British India. Presented at Parliament of Bodies (documenta 14 public programs) and Delfina was the live performance essay Muhammad Ali’s Bangladesh Passport.
Tripoli Cancelled (2017), premiering in documenta 14 / Athens and BFI London Film Festival, is Mohaiemen’s first fiction film, about a man who lived alone in an abandoned airport for a decade, with Watership Down and Boney M songs as his companions. The film reflects on the isolation of modernity and the indefinite wait for stability. Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017), presented at documenta 14 / Kassel and forthcoming at Liverpool Biennial, is a three-channel documentary examining Cold War-era power struggles between the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). A journey through transnational architecture in New York, Algiers and Dhaka, it chronicles the pivot of the Third World project from Socialism to its ideological counterpoint Islamism.
Naeem Mohaiemen is 49 and works in New York and Dhaka.
Charlotte Prodger was born in Bournemouth, UK in 1974. She studied at Goldsmiths, London and The Glasgow School of Art.
Recent solo exhibitions include: BRIDGIT/Stoneymollan Trail, Bergen Kunsthall; Subtotal, Sculpture Center, New York (2017); BRIDGIT, Hollybush Gardens, London; Charlotte Prodger, Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2016); 8004–8019, Spike Island, Bristol; Stoneymollan Trail, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2015); Markets, Chelsea Space, London; Nephatiti, Glasgow International Director’s Programme, Glasgow (2014); Percussion Biface 1–13, Studio Voltaire, London; Colon Hyphen Asterix, Intermedia CCA, Glasgow (2012) and Handclap/Punchhole, Kendall Koppe, Glasgow (2011). Recent group exhibitions include: Always Different, Always the Same: An Essay on Art and Systems, Bunder Kunstmuseum, Chur; ORGASMIC STREAMING ORGANIC GARDENING ELECTROCULTURE, Chelsea Space, London (2018); British Art Show 8 (2016); Weight of Data, Tate Britain, London; An Interior that Remains an Exterior, Künstlerhaus Graz (2015); A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain, Tate Britain, London; Annals of The Twentieth Century, Wysing Arts, Cambridge (2014) Holes In The Wall, Kunsthalle Freiburg and Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York (2013). Prodger received the 2014 Margaret Tait Award and 2017 Paul Hamlyn Award.
Prodger works with moving image, printed image, sculpture and writing. She has been nominated for the 2018 Turner Prize for her solo exhibition BRIDGIT/Stoneymollan Trail at Bergen Kunsthall (2017) comprising two single-channel videos. Moving image has been at the core of Prodger’s work for two decades. Its ever-evolving formats are inextricably bound to the autobiographical content of her work. She has mined the material properties of numerous moving image formats, not just because they inherently get replaced over time, but because she is fascinated by their formal parameters and socio-political histories; the sticky relationship between form and content. Prodger’s recent videos set up complex tensions between the body, landscape, identity and time.
BRIDGIT is titled after the eponymous Neolithic deity whose name has had multiple iterations across different geographical locations and points in history. BRIDGIT was shot entirely on Prodger’s iPhone, which she approaches as a prosthesis or extension of the nervous system, intimately connected to time, social interaction and work. Body and device become extensions of each other, and the work becomes a unified meditation on shifting subjectivity.
Stoneymollan Trail is named after an ancient ‘coffin road’ on the west coast of Scotland. A non-linear miscellany of visual material from her personal archive (shot between 1999 and 2015), it traces a history of recent video formats as well as the artist’s personal history. Much of Prodger’s work looks at what happens to speech – and the self for which it is a conduit - as it metamorphoses via time, space and technological systems. For voiceovers she frequently asks friends to read out her own diaristic content, while she inhabits other subjectivities by re-speaking the words of people living and dead: friends, anonymous YouTube users and historical figures of influence. The material perpetually shifts around, but is locally grounded in its means of production - based in queerness, communality, technology, language and loss.
Charlotte Prodger is 44 and lives and works in Glasgow.
LUKE WILLIS THOMPSON
Luke Willis Thompson was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1988. He studied at the Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main 2013-2015, and the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2006-10.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Luke Willis Thompson, Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington (2018); autoportrait, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2017); Luke Willis Thompson, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2017); Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin (2016); Misadventure, Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane (2016); Sucu Mate/Born Dead, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2016) and nicht mehr, nicht minder als der Sugar, Reisebürogalerie, Cologne. He has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel (June 2018). He is nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018, and is the recipient of the 2014 Walters Prize.
Luke Willis Thompson works across film, performance, installation and sculpture to tackle traumatic histories of class, racial and social inequality, institutional violence, colonialism and forced migration. Following research into racialised stop-and-search policies and killings, Thompson’s silent black and white 16mm and 35mm films are performances by people fundamentally impacted by police and state brutality.
The technique Thompson uses replicates and reconfigures Andy Warhol’s silent black and white 16mm films, Screen Tests (1964-66), a series of short slow motion portraits of famous and anonymous visitors to the artist’s studio. Thompson’s precise use of this format highlights the almost total absence of people of colour in Warhol’s 472 Screen Tests.
Autoportrait was produced during Thompson’s Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency (2016-7) and continues his preoccupation with raising questions around personal, artistic and political agency. In July 2016, Diamond Reynolds broadcast live via Facebook the moments immediately after the fatal shooting of her partner Philando Castile by a police officer during a traffic-stop in Minnesota. Thompson invited Reynolds to work with him to produce an aesthetic response that could act as a ‘sister image’ to her broadcast, breaking with the well-known image of Reynolds caught in a moment of violence which had circulated widely online and in the news. Thompson’s silent filmed portrait of Reynolds was made during a period of uncertainty between the charging of the officer who killed Castille and the subsequent trial.
Luke Willis Thompson is 30 and lives and works in London.