Mark Leckey Wins 2008 Turner Prize

Instead of being lauded and applauded with congratulations on his win, artist Mark Leckey is being derided for winning the UK’s 2008 Turner Prize.

Critics of the controversial art prize, which has previously been won by artists including Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili, are calling the 2008 prize the “worst on record” and comparing its accompanying exhibition at the Tate gallery to “afternoon spent in a Heathrow departure lounge”.

Sounds like fun, no?

What’s your take on Leckey and the Turner? Should the prize continue to be awarded?

Mark Leckey, 44, from Birkenhead, took the £25,000 first prize for his video “Industrial Light and Magic”. Leckey, who describes himself as a “modern day dandy”, combines film, sculpture and performance complete with clips from the film Titanic.

Part of the entry included a lecture, Cinema-in-the-Round, which features a voice-over by Leckey, and an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer registers his horror as he turns into a three-dimensional being. The winning artist has confessed to having a “slight obsession” with Felix the Cat.

The jury, which included Nicholas Serota, the director of London’s Tate Modern, commended the “intelligent, energetic and seductive nature of the work”, which was the runaway favourite at the bookmakers.

By contrast, only three bets were waged on the entry from the Glaswegian Cathy Wilkes, the least popular nominee, to be shortlisted for the prize. The highest bet was £7.99. The irony might appeal to the artist whose exhibition, which features a naked mannequin wearing horseshoes, sat on a lavatory next to half-eaten bowls of porridge on a supermarket conveyor belt, is called I Give You All My Money.

The Turner Prize has always thrived on controversy. Previous winners have included Martin Reed who exhibited an empty room with the lights going on and off, Chris Ofili who attached balls of elephant dung to canvas, and Damien Hirst, who displayed a cow and calf cut in half and preserved in formaldehyde. Tracey Emin was the best known loser with her soiled bed.

Critics have panned this year’s Turner Prize as the “worst on record” and likened the exhibition at London’s Tate Britain to an “afternoon spent in a Heathrow departure lounge”. Some are now questioning whether the competition has any future.

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One thought on “Mark Leckey Wins 2008 Turner Prize

  1. jim jones

    I thought mark was dead on in his post acceptance speech on channel 4. That britain perhaps the worst place for art critics in the world. They dont give artists a chance. You all need to take a look at
    a few of the newspaper websites on the topic, to understand the degree to which a lot of them just recycle other websites quotes.
    They dont give it the time at all.


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