The Turner Prize 2010 was launched with a party at Tate Britain, London, this week. As usual, four artists are on the short list for the prize and the night was an exclusive preview of the works for art industry players and collectors.
Mingling under the arches and fighter jets of the main halls Fiona Banner’s war planes are a long-term exhibit at the gallery), the invited few hundred declared their favourites in hushed tones (kind of essential when the artist might be lurking over your shoulder).
One of Dexter Dalwood, Angela de la Cruz, Susan Philipsz and the Otolith Group will be announced winner in December, with the show running until the end of the year. It’s not the strongest year for the prize, of which previous winners have included Damien Hirst with Mother and Child Divided, Tracey Emin with My Bed and Chris Ofili with The Virgin Mary.
This time around the most intriguing work is the darkened, secret society-esque room by the Otolith Group. Out of the black, multiple TVs play various stages of their fictional documentary, telling the stories of those (they imagine) could have starred in a never-made sixties film about a Bengali boy who discovers an alien. Got that?
It’s a visual feast that’s intriguing enough to eat a day, but Dexter Dalwood’s paintings or Susan Philipsz folky-ghostly disembodied singing are maybe more likely to take the prize.
Party guests trying to make up their minds on the night included included Sir Nicholas Serota, Janet Street Porter, Grayson Perry, Joselyn Fox, Konrad Wyrebek, Nancy Dell-D’Olio, Ben Bradshaw, Robin Vousden of the Gagosian and a load of rich young Russians.