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The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones’ “alternative” Turner prize shortlist

October 6, 2009

My alternative 2009 Turner prize shortlist

As a juror on this year’s prize, I just hope the shortlist will live up to its best traditions of championing the avant garde

A house, near Hungerford, that has had a penis painted on its roof

Penis mightier than the shortlist? Photograph: KNS News

Is the teenager who painted a 60ft penis on the roof of his parents’ house eligible for the Turner prize? Well, it wasn’t in an exhibition and only got noticed in a satellite photograph, so perhaps not. I’ll have to put it in the alternative Turner pile, along with Alan Moore‘s comics.

As the 2009 Turner jury – on which I’m serving – gears up for the shortlisting meeting in just under a month, it’s time to put away childish things. Half the fun of the whole affair has been saying, when confronted with any example of almost anything, that it was worthy of the Turner prize. (Anyway, it was fun for me: the smiles of listeners seemed to become increasingly forced.)

The strange thing is that in reality I have no desire to subvert the Turner in any way whatsoever; rather I just hope this year’s shortlist will live up to its best traditions, by which I mean championing the avant garde in a country that used to be notorious for its conservatism. Hopefully there will be some surprises in the shortlist, but there’s no danger (and I don’t know if this will come as good or bad news) of it suddenly being filled with watercolourists.

Read more at The Guardian, Arts blog: Jonathan Jones’s alternative Turner prize shortlist

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2009 12:26 am

    The penis is more effective in getting a reaction than many of the nominees. What do you think of the winner?

    • islandlass permalink*
      December 10, 2009 12:39 am

      Am inclined to agree. As to the nominees and the winner – not having seen any of them in the flesh, so to speak, I don’t feel qualified to answer. However, based on printed imagery alone, I’m not terribly impressed.

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