The Mail on Sunday - Event - - ART -

Tate Bri­tain, Lon­don Un­til Jan 6

The Turner Prize this year has gone to an ex­treme. It has short­listed four video artists, whose work is chiefly po­lit­i­cal.

The Tate has had a re­cent ten­dency to pre­fer work with an ap­proved po­lit­i­cal mes­sage that might, for in­stance, be in­ter­est­ing to look at. The artists cho­sen all work in the same medium and con­vey sim­i­lar mes­sages.

Char­lotte Prodger is a video artist who sup­plies film of do­mes­tic in­te­ri­ors and High­land land­scapes. Over the top she speaks about Ne­olithic mother god­desses in Aberdeen­shire. She isn’t a great writer and the nar­ra­tive is stilted and un­con­vinc­ing.

Foren­sic Ar­chi­tec­ture is a col­lec­tive claim­ing to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions into wrong­do­ing in the Mid­dle East. It shows snatches of footage of, ap­par­ently, the death of a Be­douin at the hands of Is­raeli po­lice. I don’t know what they are do­ing here, apart from sig­nalling the jury’s chic cre­den­tials.

I quite like Luke Willis Thomp­son’s three films, show­ing the long con­se­quences of vi­o­lence against black peo­ple. The whole thing is some­what aes­theti­cised, with the clat­ter of an old-school film pro­jec­tor, and the im­ages are beau­ti­fully lit in an art-school way. Philip Hen­sher

Tripoli Can­celled, by Naeem Mo­haiemenHead and shoul­ders above the rest is Naeem Mo­haiemen. He shows, first, a beau­ti­ful, un­set­tling film about a man liv­ing alone in an aban­doned air­port. The sec­ond cen­tres on the jour­ney of Mo­haiemen’s na­tive Bangladesh from its cre­ation in 1971.It’s al­most the first piece I’ve seen in the Tate that doesn’t pack­age up its cul­ture for the easy di­ges­tion of a white Western au­di­ence; it wants to speak to its own peo­ple, and it’s fiercely con­tentious and pas­sion­ately in­ter­est­ing. It earns its place by the ex­tra­or­di­nary power of its im­age­mak­ing. You should take a quick look at the three other artists and watch Mo­haiemen’s films in full: it’s three hours well spent.

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