Friday, December 06, 2013

Turner Prize 2013

I went to the Turner Prize 2013 exhibition in Derry today. I had quite a bit to do before I left which resulted in an inadequate breakfast. By the time I reached Ebrington Square I was very hungry. I don't know about you guys but I prefer to experience innovative art on a full stomach. Luckily there was a food cart in the square. I purchased a bacon and tomato wrap and a bottle of water. The delightful young woman who served me said, "Butter? Mayo?" and, in haste, I replied "Mayo." I vaguely wondered if it was a mistake but brushed the thought away, thinking,

Sure - it's only food.

I ate half the wrap and stashed the rest for later. Some of the mayo squirted on to my coat but luckily I noticed this and licked it off. I saw someone looking at me from a window and decided I did not care.

Into the exhibition. Could the gallery staff have been any friendlier, more helpful or more polite. No they could not! Derry people and people associated with Derry are, in my experience, a delight.

I went to each gallery in turn. David Shrigley's Life Model installation was the first. This has been much talked about. I liked it well enough but there wasn't enough going on. Not enough people participating and I didn't either.

Gallery 2 was Laure Prouvost's (the 2013 winner) installation. This was very engaging. After watching the video Wantee I went into the area to view Grandma's Dream. At first this was very playful then it darkened, The floor was on a carpeted slope although there was a seating platform. I did not dare sit down as my silly old knees would have prevented me from rising in a dignified manner. I left the room and spent some time viewing the objects and pictures. Then left. Then found myself very emotional and near to tears. I had to sit and compose myself for a while.

Gallery 3 - Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Initially underwhelmed I felt, when I'd left, that I had not given this artist the time she deserved. I may have to come back to this one.

Gallery 4 - Tino Seghal. I was looking forward to this one and had a slight idea of what to expect. The gallery was white-walled and empty of visual stimulus. I was engaged in conversation by a member of gallery staff. She introduced the topic, the market economy. At first I was a bit lost for words and feeling self conscious about the gap in my teeth. I found myself looking at her teeth which were a bit misshapen but clean and white and real. I found my stride and we talked about give and take and bartering. I earned my pound coin but declined it.

After a bit of a wander I returned to Laure Prouvost's installation and while I was gazing at a teapot in a glass case I caught sight of my reflection. There on the left side of my mouth was a big splodge of mayonnaise. I quickly wiped it off realising that I'd been wandering around for two hours talking to gallery staff, seen by fellow visitors looking like a crazy woman with mayo on my face! No-one mentioned it so it can only stand to reason that everyone thought I was some class of a performance artist.

The Turner Prize 2013. I'd recommend it to anyone with an open mind and an imagination. Just wash your face before you go.


ganching said...

Just watched the Culture Show which was about Derry. Sorry now I've missed the year of culture.

Nelly said...

One second before I found your comment I was imagining how, next time you are over, that we'd take the train to Derry. The culture will still be there!

Mage said...

I don't think it would come here, but I would like to see it. Thanks for the review. :)