[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 16:04 GMT
'Shocking' Turner art on show
A photographer at the Turner exhibition
A photographer tries to get a view of the Chapmans' work
An exhibition of art by this year's Turner Prize nominees has opened amid controversy over its shock value.

A statue of a naked couple in a sex act and a sculpture of bodies being eaten by maggots, both by Jake and Dinos Chapman, are among the works on show.

Fellow nominee Grayson Perry has created vases featuring images of child abuse, sex acts and death.

The exhibition, at the Tate Britain, opened to the press on Tuesday and will open to the public on Wednesday.

The Chapman brothers deliberately set out to make work that provokes a strong reaction
Katharine Stout
There is a "health warning" at the London gallery saying visitors should not bring those under the age of 16.

One of the Chapman brothers' works, titled Sex, depicts bodies being picked at by maggots, snails, spiders and rats.

Another, called Death, is a bronze sculpture of a pair of blow-up dolls engaged in a sex act on a lilo.

To me these are just everyday objects thrown together and given a fancy name
Dan, England

Katharine Stout, the exhibition's curator, said: "The Chapman brothers deliberately set out to make work that provokes a strong reaction.

"Here they're dealing with things that have been a common thread in their art, sex and death.

"When you see the sculptures they do invite a strong reaction, but with Death it's also quite funny, it's quite absurd."

The brothers, who are among Britain's foremost modern artists, are favourites to win the prize.

Nominated art from the Turner Prize exhibition 2003

But The Times art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnson said the Chapmans "aren't working for me".

"It now seems like a parody of itself, and in a sense that's what they're trying to do - they're poking fun at the child-like desire to provoke," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"But it's no longer provocative. You look at it and you think 'so what?'"

Perry's vases put disturbing messages onto pottery, such as the silhouetted figure of a man who has hanged himself and another with an erection who is being beaten by a woman.

Also nominated are Irish video artist and photographer Willie Doherty and sculptor Anya Gallaccio.

Some of Gallaccio's exhibits - using things like apples and flowers - will rot during the course of the exhibition.

"They will start to smell as they rot and ferment," Ms Stout said.

The Chapman's Sex

Doherty is showing his video work Re-Run in which a man is seen running across a bridge from two angles.

The Turner Prize, the UK's most prestigious modern arts award, regularly generates controversy from critics who believe it is elitist and unrepresentative of "real" art.

Last year the prize was dismissed as "conceptual bullshit" by the then culture minister, Kim Howells.

Last year's victor, Keith Tyson, had cast the entire contents of a Kentucky Fried Chicken menu in lead as part of his entry.

Dinos Chapman on BBC Radio 4's Front Row
"I think all galleries should have health warnings anyway"

The BBC's David Sillito
"It's supposed to be the best of British art, but its fame has more to do with its reputation for shock"

Who should win the Turner Prize?
The Chapmans
Willie Doherty
Anya Gallaccio
Grayson Perry
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Humour outplays shock at Turner show
28 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Controversial duo on Turner list
29 May 03  |  Entertainment
Chapmans win Academy prize
26 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Complex world of Chapman brothers
30 May 03  |  Entertainment
Minister attacks Turner art
31 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Art boss attacks Saatchi artists
02 Apr 03  |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific