A Statement of Solidarity

Turner Prize 2019 Will Be Split Between All Four Nominees

At their request, the prize will be split evenly by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani.

Turner Prize 2019 nominees, (L-R) Oscar Murillo, Tai Shani, Helen Cammock and Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Stuart Wilson/Getty Images for Turner Contemporary)

The four nominees – Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani – came together to request that the jury consider awarding the Prize to them as a collective.

In a joint letter to the jury, the artists said: ‘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, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the Prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity – in art as in society.’

“This year you have selected a group of artists who, perhaps more than ever before in the Prize’s history, are all engaged in forms of social or participatory practice,” said Commock at the ceremony, reading aloud the letter co-written by the four nominees. “More specifically, each of us makes art about social and political issues and contexts we believe are of great importance and urgency. The politics we deal with differ greatly, and for us it would feel problematic if they were pitted against each other, with the implication that one was more important, significant or more worthy of attention than the others.”

In recognition of these artists’ shared commitment to urgent social and political causes, the jury unanimously decided to honour that request. The jury noted that this unique and timely act of solidarity encapsulates the very reasons for which these four artists were nominated in the first place, as demonstrated in the works they exhibited at Turner Contemporary. “We are honoured to be supporting this bold statement of solidarity and collaboration in these divided times,” they said. “Their symbolic act reflects the political and social poetics that we admire and value in their work.”

The Turner Prize is Britain’s most high-profile contemporary art award. The quartet will share the £40,000 prize money.





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