LONDON – This year’s prestigious Turner Award went to British video artist Charlotte Prodger on Tuesday, author of an installation exploring gender identity and the role of sexuality in society through videos filmed with her mobile phone.
The jury of the award, endowed with 25,000 pounds for the winner ($31,000), praised the “pictorial quality” of Prodger’s work, a personal creation that mixes images of the author’s daily life with sequences of Scottish landscapes.
The two single-channel video art piece “BRIDGIT/Stoneymollan Trail” was first shown at the Norwegian Bergen Kunsthall Museum.
“BRIDGIT,” one of the two videos that made up the installation, is a 32-minute piece, filmed entirely with a mobile phone over the course of a year.
The film includes images of the 44-year-old artist, reading her diaries, as well as fragments of her daily life and travels.
In the narrative that accompanies some of the images, Prodger recounts personal experiences of the difficulties she encountered in revealing her sexual identity in the rural Scottish region of Aberdeenshire in the 1990s.
She explains how some people did not know if she was a boy or a girl, and how they have sometimes mistaken her girlfriend for her daughter.
“The stories that I’m telling, although they’re mine and they’re personal, are stories that a lot of people – I guess queer people – have experienced,” said the video artist, who declared herself “overwhelmed” after receiving the award.
Tate Britain gallery director and jury chairman Alex Farquharson highlighted the way in which the artist “handles life experiences and the formation of a sense of self from disparate references.”
The Turner Prize, which is presented since 1984 to a British-born or based artist aged under 50, is in its 34th year and is considered the highest award for arts in Britain.