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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Turner hopefuls unveil their work
Langlands and Bell
Langlands and Bell travelled to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban
The four artists nominated for the Turner Prize are showing off the work they hope will clinch the 40,000 award

The exhibition at London's Tate Britain gallery opens on Wednesday.

Among the pieces on display is an interactive digital reconstruction of Osama Bin Laden's base in Afghanistan, created by artists Langlands and Bell.

But one piece of their work has been removed because it features an alleged Afghan warlord who is currently on trial at the High Court in London.

The two artists, Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell, were official war artists when they travelled to Afghanistan in 2001, where they visited the Bin Laden's former home in Daruntah, west of Jalalabad.

This year's shortlist features much more serious themes than previous years, with politics playing a big part in inspiring the artists.

Film and interactive installations are also prominent in the display.

"This year it is a quite heavy show," said Karen Wright, editor of Modern Painters magazine.

"Artists are always involved in their time and this is a show that contexts politics and shows what is going on."

Personal histories

The other artists shortlisted for the prize are Kutlug Ataman, Jeremy Deller, Langlands and Bell and Yinka Shonibare.

Deller's submitted work, including a documentary called Memory Bucket, was inspired by a trip to Texas, as well as photographs and footage of a parade he organised through the Spanish city of San Sebastian.

Grayson Perry at Turner Prize ceremony
Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003
As part of his submission he has also invited speakers to give talks on topics relating to his work throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Turkish-born Kutlag Ataman will present his new six-screen video installation entitled Twelve, which he filmed in south-eastern Turkey.

It features six people talking about their past and present lives, exploring their personal histories and challenging conventional language.

Yinka Shonibare will also present a film, this time about the assassination of Swedish king Gustav III at a masked ball in 1792, enacted through dance.

Using his trademark batik, he has also included in his submissions a painting called Maxa 2003, which comprises circular canvases, and sculpture based on an 18th Century painting.

The shortlisted works will be exhibited at Tate Britain from 20 October to 23 December, with the winner announced on 6 December.

The prize is open to any artist under the age of 50 who is either working in the UK, or is British and working abroad.

In the past the Turner Prize has courted controversy with winners including Gilbert and George, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst.

Transvestite potter Grayson Perry won the award last year for his elaborate vases.

Gallery exhibition accompanying this year's prize

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