[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 10 December 2004, 15:10 GMT
Turner Prize 2004: Your views
Work by Jeremy Deller
The work of artist Jeremy Deller is on the shortlist
Artist Jeremy Deller has won the 2004 Turner Prize for work which included a video about George Bush's hometown.

The Turner shortlist also included a video-game style exploration of the home of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Langlands and Bell's installation The House Of Osama Bin Laden features video and photos from Afghanistan.

They were joined on the nominees' shortlist list by Yinka Shonibare, who works with African fabric and

Turkish-born video artist Kutlug Ataman.

The annual £40,000 award, given for the year's best exhibition by a British artist, has always generated heated debate.

What do you think about this year's winner and his fellow nominees? Have the judges made a good choice?

How sad to think, that had Bernini, Rubens, Raphael and Michelangelo to name but a few true artists, lived in today's society they would not of been short listed for the Turner Prize for art. How the past winner of this award (I forget her name)must have suffered when she did not make the bed. The Turner Prize is now seen as a joke, not only by children, but also by adults who are not afraid to say the Emperor is not wearing any clothes.
Cecil Crinnion, Slingsby, England.

I think the nominees' this year were all great (even if they did all have a bit too much in common). In general though, i think the Turner prize is a great award, but Since Martin Creed won in 2001 with light going on and off, far too many people have jumped on the anti-Turner prize bandwagon who are far too narrow minded to appreciate art. If it wasn't for artists like Jeremy Deller (like The Who, The Sex Pistols, Picasso and Monet), the arts would never evolve. People who moan that the arts in general has all been seen or heard before clearly aren't opening their eyes wide enough.
Rob , Bristol

The Art Scene tends to be dominated by commercialism. Comments have been made that there are maybe artists who could be more worthy winners. After all there are thousands of us artists working. There can only be a few chosen few, as in the music industry for art to be viable on a business level. The Turner Prize whether realised or not is part of the industry. Joan, London, UK
Joan Jonas, London UK

Turner was one of England's greatest artists. Surely it is high time his name was removed from this annual event. I suggest that from next year it is more appropriately re-named "Gresham's Prize", indicating Gresham's famous "law" which more accurately designates the nature of the submissions.
Michael Knight, Geneva, Switzerland

No-one has yet to define what is meant by 'art'. If it is to provoke a reaction then the response elicited on this message board suggests that the nominations are, indeed, works of 'art'.
Grant Coleby, Itchington, England

Though I had graduated from Contemporary Arts as part of my university degree, and appreciate how art these days isn't just based on aesthetic beauty. I find the nominated works of this years Turner Prize of mediocre quality. Perhaps it would be more interesting to create an award whereby we have a competition for the artist who successfully networks his/her way to 'the' art circle that matters instead?
J Wan, UK, UK

I'm a big fan of the Turner Prize. I think people see it in a bad light because they only get to see the 'sensationalism' portrayed by the media. See it in the flesh - much better. Unfortunately This year has seen lots of 'video installations' which I don't really like. Nor do I like the PR that has accompanied some of this years nominees. All the same I would have to vote for Yinka Shonibare. It was the one display this year that I would happily hang on my wall. Go Yinka!!!
Richard, Leeds, UK

I always enjoy seeing what junk gets made for the Turner Prize. It really is rubbish. I personally thought that something like Chris Jordan's 'Bi-Polar' picture in the "Mock Turner Prize" pictures was excellent! Very creative and imaginative. Why do we never see anything like this?
Alan, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Like all the other exhibits in previous years this years contributions are just not art and do not merit a prize named after someone who could rightly be called an artist. What I wonder here is who is kidding who? Art needs artistic skill whereas these exhibits do not need much of a degree of artistry. This is supposed to be an art contest not a video or photographic contest. The whole concept of the Turner Prize is and always has been total farce and never warrants serious consideration within the world of Art. In fact to give someone £25000 for producing one of these so called works of art is nothing less than a gross insult to the true artists of our generation.
R.Chapman, Middlesbrough UK

There is nothing original or revolutionary in terms of content in this current batch of Turner nominees...just more self-indulgence. With all the publicity that the Turner attracts artists should see this as a golden opportunity to create an art which has the power to transform society. Think about it artists, curators. But maybe it's just too hard?
Josie Wadelton, St. Kilda, Australia

When did documentary films become art? How about my holiday snaps, or a film of a visit to the bathroom? How about the artist performing his/her ablutions live and uncensored in the gallery, as a work of art? I'm sure we could find something profound to say about it, in order to lend it the necessary gravitas...
Gordon Bennett, London, England

What absolute rubbish...the money would be better spent on people that need it. I am disgusted that giving Bin Laden ANY publicity whether in the name of art or not should not be allowed after the atrocities he has done.
Margaret, Wigan England

Frankly, if this is what constitutes art, then I really do begrudge any of my taxes going to the Arts Council. People can dress it all up with big words and I see they already have, art is not about being controversial, clever or exclusive, like much of the dross I see here, it's about being creative and inclusive. This is design for the overpaid, by the overpaid. Art, it 'isn't.
Paul, Amersham, UK

I've just returned from a trip to The Netherlands, where I went to see a collection of Rembrandt's work. Now that IS art.
John Naughton, Wirral, UK

The work shows how far the arts in Britain have retreated from any pretence of engaging with fundamental or important questions at other than a trivial level. Modern artists have largely abandoned any attempt to answer questions such as what does it mean to be human or what is the underlying nature of reality? This may be because they have nothing worthwhile to say. These questions are now more successfully addressed by their colleagues in the sciences - as a quick look at the popular science section in any bookshop will confirm. Unfortunately, rather than confront this failure, the arts community has taken up a position of obscurantism and abandoned the intellectual high ground to the more rigorous thinkers found in other disciplines. This is a great shame, but the self-evident vacuity of much of what is presented as contemporary art may eventually become such an embarrassment that it leads to the development of a more clear-headed and deeper thinking community in future. I! In that respect the Turner prize may serve a valuable purpose.
Nick, Bath

Yes I agree totally with Lara, but surely not everybody can call themselves an artist, when providing the most elementary of creative, or lack of creative output?
Lee, Toulouse, France

To me, an artist is someone who has a talent they are born with that others haven't got, I could go to art college for 10 years and still couldn't create a picture like the people I would call true artists, there must be millions of artists walking the streets of Britain if the "Turner lot" are classed as artists.
Trevor, UK

What is really sad is that the vast majority of the public have had no art education at all, and thus are ill-equipped to understand or appreciate 'modern' art. And a comment to Ms Wadelton - an art which has the power to transform society? A lot of art is social commentary, and always has been. Unfortunately today it seems people are unable to pay full attention to what they see in front of them.
Pascale, Cambridge, UK

After seeing the last winner of this 'Turner' art prize, I am profoundly influenced. A visit to the loo will never again be the same for me. I've previously been blind to the fact the urinals are simply shouting aesthetic inspiration - and I don't just mean, 'Adamant,' and 'Please Aim!'
Steven McDaniel, Sand Sprins, OK, USA

Every year the public are asked what their thoughts on the Turner Prize nominees are and every year its the same; people claim that the artists are falsely controversial, hackneyed and that they could do a better job for a fraction of the price. How many of you venting your frustrations are actually out there creating anything more than a complaint? If the artists are so unoriginal then why are the public's responses to their work so formulaic and predictable year after year? Is this life imitating art?
Louis, London, England

I visited London just to see the entrants this year and I wasn't impressed, however to see the interactions with a piece of work is often quite interesting - and probably worth the trip. Here's my impression: Deller makes films that no-one would want to watch if they weren't in a gallery - and I didn't see many people watching to the end even in the Tate... Langland and Bell should have left the nonsense text off their photographs as it detracted from their quality photography. I wasn't keen on the idea of the Bin Laden work, but after seeing lots of children playing with the work I thought it was great. Kutlug Ataman's work was difficult to engage with as large groups of people blocked the projectors in the Tate Britain. I would have preferred a DVD or Website with the interviews. Shonibare's video reminded me of Adam Ant. It was awful. I think that those familiar with "The League of Gentlemen" may recognise elements of "Legs Akimbo". Given a choice between the Tate Galleries and the Saatchi gallery, I would pay the money and visit the Saatchi gallery every time - especially since it costs money to see the Tate entrants. I think that Tate Britain gives out audio guides to accompany a trip around the Turner entrants because the art work doesn't stand up on it's own.
Adrian, Leeds, UK

They are total and utter frauds.
David, Birmingham, UK

Quite simply I despair. How these deluded fools think their warped interpretations are in any way deserving of being considered appealing or even thought provoking is beyond me. Is every landfill site in the country now to be considered art? For this is surely where this self-gratifying nauseous rubbish belongs.
Tim, Cambridge, UK

I'm afraid my thoughts aren't provoked...
Patrick Bradley, Derry, N.Ireland

I'm a pretty open minded person, but when it comes to things like this...I just can't get my head around it. One of the submissions is pretty much just a spider diagram - words, and arrows. Now seriously, ask yourself (and answer honestly) if you, or I submitted something like that, do you REALLY think it would be accepted as art? Or is art only art when it's done by certain people? It's a status thing. It's a small clique of artists with too much time and money to spare who are exploiting the fact that they can get away with bloody murder. And to whoever said that it's not about how much work is put into it - couldn't disagree more. I thought the act of devoting your life to being an artist requires that you DO put a lot of hard work, heart, and soul into it. Surely that's the whole point! If it didn't actually take any effort or hard work...well, we'd all be at it now wouldn't we? And by definition you could hand anyone on the street a crayon, give them 10 seconds to scribble the first thing that comes to mind, and call them an artist. Hey I might do that next year and submit it. I'm sure it'd go down a treat. Sorry, to my mind it's all just pretentious rubbish. And ultimately the joke is on the critics, and the people who go and see it; spending endless hours contemplating the deeper meanings of some writing on a wall, or an unmade bed, or a light in a room turning on and off.
Paul Ortiz, Cambridge, England

The naked emperor is striding down the street again. Art needs to be more than just a clever or thought provoking idea. What happened to craft and beauty. Time will be the ultimate judge of the worth of these works - will we be admiring or even giving space to them in our museums in 50 years time - I don't think so.
Gary, Glasgow

As an artist, at the nascent point in my career, I find the beatification of such "Art" rather depressing. I am glad to read that some have found this work profound. However, I cannot share in their sentiment, as I find the works to be aesthetically banal.
Morgan, Philadelphia,USA

The true litmus test for good or bad art is time. Picasso died over 30 years ago, but 250,000 people went to see the recent Picasso-Matisse exhibition at the Tate. Will these Turner Prize exhibits still be remembered and admired in 10, 20 or even 100 years time ?
Mark Schofield, Lyon, France

I won't be wasting any time or money in going to see any of this "work". The awarding of prizes to such trash does real damage to true artists and their work, who often go unnoticed and unrecognised. It also does nothing to endear the art world to the general public, most of whom I suspect lost sympathy with "modern art" long ago.
Nigel , Southampton UK

Pass me a bucket, I'm going to be sick! What a load of rubbish!
Boris, Staffordshire

This is fantastic. Not all of this art is to my personal taste, but I find the variety that appears each year amazing. It always has fresh ideas. Those who say it's not "true art" have closed minds and are trying arrogantly to impose their own view of art on others. All art should be encouraged whether to one's personal taste or not.
Martin, Nottingham, UK

Really it should be named the Turner Self Publicity Stunt Prize, because that's what it has degenerated into.
Guy Hammond, London, England

The judges never make a good choice - they are too blinkered & set in their idea that good modern art has to be rubbish. No, I will not bother to waste my time or train fare.
Reilly, Southampton, UK

Why do people keep trotting out the same clichés around Turner time? "this isn't art" - "we should fund real artists" - for crying out loud, just take the work in context, learn a little bit about design and stop whining. Some of it IS no good, some of it is thought-provoking. Don't they know when they are being bated? or "invited to discuss"?. I reckon sometimes if the naysayers just thought "oh, that's cool" and moved on then that's all the appreciation and understanding they really need. Not all art has to be a Turner or Constable.
Justin Dowling, Bristol, UK

1) There are prizes up and down the country for portraiture, still-life and so on. The Turner Prize is awarded for a certain kind of art, and berating it because there aren't any lovely pictures of kittens and horses is as absurd as complaining that the Booker Prize shortlist doesn't include poetry. 2) What on earth has the 'work' put in got to do with anything? People like Titian had minions painting most of their stuff. Art is no longer connected to craft, and hasn't been since Duchamp exhibited a signed urinal in 1929. 3) No, your five year old son couldn't have done better. Although it would amuse me to see him try to pickle a shark. 4) And if he does, why shouldn't he be in the running? For most of the century (see above), there's been a lively, COMPLICATED debate about what art is and isn't, of which this is a small corner. 5) Note the emphasis on complicated. The precise function of this sort of art is to make us question our simple thoughts about what we see, what it means and how we value it. In an age in which simple thinking is flattening villages around the globe, should we not rejoice in this opportunity?
Matt B, Oxford,UK

I would like to see more art which has beauty. The kind of thing that makes you stand in awe. I don't think it is that difficult to create something 'shocking' or just simply 'creative'. Beauty takes real skill and effort to create.
David Jenkins, Coventry England

Modern artists are little more than prop-makers in the 21st century. The term 'modern art' in itself is virtually redundant terminology in the same way that 'Pop' music is. Attacking 'soft' targets like the Bible / religious iconography or child murderers for instance is nothing more than a turkey-shoot, and how glorious can that be. The only aspect of modern art that shocks people is the amount of money being bandied about. Modern artists probably feel embattled but it was their choice to wander down that cul-de sac
Stephen Merchant, Shrewsbury

Lots of this seems to be rubbish. And whilst it may be thought provoking, almost anything on earth provokes thought. I could submit my recent family photos, and 50 different people would read 50 different things into it. Most would probably think 'what's the point here', and this seems to be the prevailing opinion of the public on most Turner entries. there must be some element of quality beyond reaction-bating to make it worthwhile.
Richard Wright, London UK

I will be going to see the exhibition as I do every year. As with every year I expect some of the work will not be to most people's taste but, as with every year, I will find something that I enjoy, or that provokes me or that even challenges me. Getting worked up about it seems like a waste of energy to me. Just don't go and see it if you don't like it.
Robert, Leicester, UK

Wow - an excellent and varied Turner list. First for a long time! It's about time Jeremy Deller in particular got recognised.
Jamie, Reading, UK

No, I would not waste my time or hard earned cash getting into London to see this exhibition. I would rather stare at the graffiti on the tube trains.
Nettie P, Cambridge UK

None of the work in this shortlist has for a major theme "the Bible/religious iconography or child murderers" by which I take it Stephen is referring to artists like Damien Hirst (religion) Marcus Harvey (Myra Hindley). His comment is typical of the mindset which assumes all contemporary art is of a similar ilk, and thus more easily rejected in its entirety. In fact this year's Turner Prize nominations are being seen as treating political themes more than the preoccupations with mortality which characterised the YBAs. If anything this shortlist is a recognition of the plurality of British contemporary art. At least treat all artists on their own terms before criticising them.
Lara, Paris, France


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

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific