Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger was awarded this year's Turner Prize, Britain's prestigious annual recognition of a contemporary artist. The Tuesday evening ceremony at Tate Britain gave Prodger the award for her short clips filming the Scottish countryside and personal, artistic vignettes, all caught using an iPhone.
The artist, age 44, is the first ever to receive the prize for iPhone filming. Prodger's work, explained Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, who chaired the judging panel, showed the “most profound use of a device as prosaic as the iPhone camera that we’ve seen in art to date”.
The prize went to Prodger for her solo exhibition BRIDGIT / Stoneymollen Trail at Bergen Kunsthall. Using a smartphone, Prodger interweaves bodies, thoughts and landscape in her work. The jury said they admired the painterly quality of BRIDGIT and the attention it pays to art history. The work meanders through disparate associations ranging from JD Sports and standing stones to 1970s lesbian separatism and Jimi Hendrix’s sound recordist. Jurors praised the way Prodger explores lived experience as mediated through technologies and histories.
The other nominees -- Forensic Architecture, Naeem Mohaiemen and Luke Willis Thompson -- who were shortlisted also incorporated film; political and social themes were prevalent in this year's art. (Watch the Turner Prize trailer from the current Tate exhibition here.)
Prodger works with moving image, printed image, sculpture and writing. Her work explores issues surrounding queer identity, landscape, language, technology and time. She has been selected to represent Scotland during the 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Commissioned and curated by Linsey Young with Cove Park, Prodger's presentation will feature a major solo exhibition of new work.
The members of the Turner Prize 2018 jury were Oliver Basciano, art critic and International Editor at ArtReview; Elena Filipovic, Director of Kunsthalle Basel; Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of Holt-Smithson Foundation; and Tom McCarthy, novelist and Visiting Professor, Royal College of Art. The Chair of the jury is Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain.