In a surprise move, the Turner Prize jury has awarded its prestigious annual award to all four nominees.
Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, Tai Shani and Lawrence Abu Hamdan have all claimed the prize in an unprecedented move and were presented the award by British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful at an event hosted at Dreamland in Margate.
The idea to share the award was first mooted by the artists themselves who penned an open letter to the judges, urging them to split the prize due to their shared passion for political and social causes. “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,” their letter read.
In a statement since the announcement, Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said: “In coming together and presenting themselves as a group, this year’s nominated artists certainly gave the jury a lot to think about. But it is very much in the spirit of these artists’ work to challenge convention, to resist polarized world views, and to champion other voices.
“The jury all felt that this made the collective a worthy winner of the Turner Prize.”
The rest of the jury, made up of writer Charlie Porter, Gasworks director Alessio Antoniolli, Goldsmiths lecturer Elvira Dyangani Ose and Victoria Pomery, the director of Turner Contemporary, added: “We are honoured to be supporting this bold statement of solidarity and collaboration in these divided times.
“Their symbolic act reflects the political and social poetics that we admire and value in their work.”