MARGATE, England – Oscar Murillo, the Colombian-born artist once hailed as the new Basquiat, won this year's Turner Prize, the biggest prize in British art.
So has Lawrence Abu Hamdan, an artist who recreates the sounds of crime scenes and human rights abuses.
Tai Shani A feminist artist who creates fantasy worlds "beyond the patriarchal limits,quot; has also won.
Like Helen Cammock, who makes feature films about the forgotten role of woman in struggles for civil rights.
On Tuesday night, in an announcement that will probably baffle the world of art, the Turner Prize jury said the four artists, who had He was selected for Britain's leading art prize in May, he had won as a collective.
The announcement was received with cheers and a great ovation at the ceremony in Margate, a British coastal city that hosts Turner Contemporary, the museum that hosts the annual exhibition of the award.
Cammock read a speech from the stage on behalf of the four artists, saying they felt that their work, which involves collaborating with other artists and members of the public, was "incompatible with the format of the competition, whose tendency is to divide and individualize."
"The problems we face are as inseparable as climate chaos with capitalism," he added, and said that the gesture of accepting the award together, an idea generated by the artists, was also an important statement "at a time marked by the rise from the right and a renewal of fascism. "
Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and president of the award jury, said in a telephone interview that the artists had decided they wanted to be nominated together in May, shortly after meeting for the first time. On Tuesday morning, a letter about it was presented to the jury, he added.
"Each of us creates art on social and political issues and contexts that we believe are of great importance and urgency," said the letter. "The policy we deal with differs a lot, and for us it would be problematic if they faced each other, with the implication that one was more important, meaningful or more worthy of attention."
The group said a collective award would also be a blunt statement "at this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities."
The jury "quickly, unanimously,quot; accepted the artists' request, Farquharson said, feeling it reflected his work. "His art, like a lot of art, addresses politics, addresses ethical concerns, so I think that in each case the poetics and politics of his work are inseparable," he said.
The group will share the prize fund of 40,000 pounds, about $ 52,000, an award spokeswoman confirmed in an email. Previous winners have included Damien Hirst and Steve McQueen, director of the films "12 years of slavery,quot; and "Widows,quot;.
The most recent winners, such as Charlotte Prodger, an artist who films movies on her iPhone last year, have been less illustrious, but the award has maintained its status as the main topic of conversation in the world of British art, or at least one chance for his newspaper critics to complain about the state of that art world.
the exposition associated with this year's restricted list received typically mixed reactions. Waldemar Januszczak, writing in The Sunday Times, criticized the judges for putting politics above art. "The use of Turner as a propaganda vehicle for ultra-London night classes has become seriously unpleasant," he wrote.
"People don't go to art to become better citizens," he added. "They go to art so that their eyes are pleased and their hearts Touchd. "The prize had,quot; largely forgotten "that, he said. He noted that he agreed with the political positions of the artists.
But some took a different stance on the political momentum of the prize. "After years in the desert, the Turner is gaining identity and purpose in his commitment to explore the expansion and original possibilities of political art in turbulent times," Jackie Wullschläger He wrote in The Financial Times. The restricted list was "a little miracle," he said, as it contained two artists, Mr. Murillo and Mr. Abu Hamdan, "more substantial, fascinating and globally ambitious than any other winner of this century of Turner."
The decision of the Turner Prize comes only weeks after a similar movement for another important cultural award. In October, the Booker Prize, Britain's main literary prize, was widely criticized after the judges handed it over to two books: "The Testaments,quot; by Margaret Atwood and "Girl, Woman,quot; by Bernardine Evaristo. Other. "
Cammock said he hoped sharing the Turner would not inspire criticism. In an interview after accepting the award, she said: "If there is any concern that we are somehow undermining the award, it is the exact opposite."
"Without the prize, we could not have made this gesture consistent." The group had decided their acceptance speech using a WhatsApp group and a Google document, he added.
Farquharson said he also hoped that the Turner Prize decision would not be criticized. "I think people will be very moved," she said. "It is a symbolic gesture, but very significant at the moment."
He said he did not expect the unusual decision to be repeated next year. "Artists always want to surprise and do things differently," he said.