Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Mark Wallinger

Photo via Independent
Tom Lubbock: Wallinger is deserving Turner winner
The Turner Prize is a random honour. It is handed out, more or less unpredictably, to artists good, bad and indifferent. But this year, by a stroke of enormous luck, it has got itself awarded to a really good artist: Mark Wallinger. Just in time, too. In a couple of years he would have been too old to qualify.
Born in 1959, Wallinger is a conceptual artist working across media, making paintings, films, sculptures, installations, performances. Over the past two decades he has produced an extraordinarily rich and inventive body of work – much too various to summarise.
A lot has been made about Wallinger dressing up as a bear but it should be remembered that he won the prize for the awesome installation 40 meters long that was Brian Haws peace camp. Many saw this on the news but as a law was passed preventing Haw from remaining in his camp Wallinger had the foresight to preserve it and install it in the Tate Britain. Seeing it close up rather than from the road gives the installation a whole new perspective the amount of work and emotion can leave the viewer speechless and feeling quite impotent as well as very angry. But Haw is a man who won't be silenced and we need people like this to chip away at the conscience that is Westminster (if they have one) and artists like Wallinger to bring it to the attention of a wider audience. So I like most people am really pleased Wallinger won he deserved it.

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