Today the galleries were opened to press, photographers and artistic elite. All were welcomed on the steps of the Tate Britain by a hoard of protesters branding themselves The Stuckists in a jibe at the debatable artistic virtue of the Turner Prize artists. Most of the placards ridiculed Sir Nicholas Serota, director of theTate. Unsurprisingly, gallery sponsors BP got a few mentions, too – though thankfully there was no treacle this time.
Once in, we browsed the work of Dexter Dalwood, whose bright canvases were inspired by historical and contemporary political events, including the death of David Kelly. We saw Angela De La Cruz ask the question, “when is a painting not a painting?” by deconstructing and dumping torn apart canvases on the gallery floor, in a similar way that she did earlier this year at the Camden Arts Centre. The Otolith Group artistic collective ‘exploit the seductive power of the moving image’ through the simultaneous playing of a series of films and documentaries, that we must admit went slightly over our head. An empty gallery was the backdrop to final nominee Susan Philipsz’ enchanting singing, as has previously been played under bridges of the river Clyde, where it would be somewhat more impactful than in a sterile art gallery.
All in all, the protesters’ placards were in danger of being the most artistic things on display (see the gallery above), but go and see for yourselves. The Turner Prize galleries are open until 3rd January 2011, with the winner being announced on 6th December.