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turner prize

Cup of tea wins Laure Prouvost the Turner Prize

The French artist was presented with her award at a ceremony in Derry.


FRENCH ARTIST LAURE Prouvost has won Britain’s Turner prize for contemporary art, and it’s all thanks to a cup of tea.

She received the award at a ceremony in Derry for her video installation that includes a mock-tea party.

Tate, the award’s partners, said:

The jury thought her work was outstanding for its complex and courageous combination of images and objects in a deeply atmospheric environment.

The €30,000 (£25,000) award was given to Prouvost for ‘Wantee’ by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.

“I’m not ready, I didn’t expect it at all,” said the surprise winner.

Four incredible artists here with me and the show. I thought it can’t be me, I was sure it was not me. So thank you everybody. Thank you for adopting me, for having a French one, I feel adopted by the UK. I’ve been here half my life. My boyfriend is half British and my daughter is both. It was really this country that let me grow.

This was the first time the Turner ceremony was held outside England, and four works were nominated. Previous winners include Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and the awards are rarely without debate.

The work that got many visitors scratching their heads was Tino Sehgal’s “This is Exchange”, an empty room where guests are offered a small amount of money to engage in conversations about the market economy.

Another entry, David Shrigley’s “Life Model”, a larger-than-life naked humanoid robot which blinks and periodically urinates, was judged too offensive for some visiting school groups.

The most conventional artist to be nominated was Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, a portrait artist of Ghanaian descent and the first black woman to be shortlisted for the prize.



Laure Prouvost, the winner of this years Turner Prize, with her art work at the Venue in Derry.

But it was Prouvost’s study on the frustrations of an artist that most impressed the judges.

The visual piece, full of quick cuts and montage, shows art work created by Prouvost’s fictional grandfather being used by his wife for household chores, symbolising the lack of control an artist often has over their output.

The video was a response to the artist Kurt Schwitters, and the title “Wantee” comes from Schwitters’ girlfriend, because she frequently asked “want tea?”

Judges called the piece “unexpectedly moving”, saying Prouvost “takes viewers to an inner world, while making reference to the streaming of images in a post-Internet age”.

Prouvost was born in Croix-Lille, but moved to London to study at the city’s Goldsmiths College and Central St Martins.

She is known for films and installations “characterised by richly layered narrative, language, translation, and surreal interruptions,” according to Tate.

The prize is part of the celebrations for the 2013 UK City of Culture in Derry.

- Additional reporting AFP

Read: And the winner is… Video about fatal shop fire wins Turner prize>

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