ALSO WORTH SEEING
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.