Video artist Elizabeth Price has been awarded with the 2012 Turner Prize for her poignant portrayal of a department store fire in 1979.
Entitled The Woolworth’s Choir of 1979, Price’s 20 minute video features archived and “heavily manipulated” footage and narrative synchronized with a rhythmic and tribalistic clapping beat.
“I’m interested in social and historical stories and I think art is the way to think about them,” mused Price as she picked up her award at last night’s Turner Prize ceremony, hosted by British actor and director Jude Law.
Commenting on the prize, Law spoke about the importance of funding for arts and education in the U.K. for future creative industries.
“The exhibition represents the U.K.’s cutting edge and innovative creative output. Sadly, we are at a moment where there is a real risk that fewer and fewer schools will provide learning opportunities within the arts. Art education should be accessible to all; if we deprive a generation of cultural skills, we lose a generation of creative leaders.”
Tate director Nicholas Serota also added that the range of work this year was intellectually challenging, ahead of its time, and “representative of what is happening in the younger art world.”
“The Turner Prize is a barometer of what is happening in the art world. The arts and the visual arts are important for young people.”
Despite her immersion into video art only a few years ago, the critics have lauded Price for creating a “powerful body of work over the last three years.” Other works include West Hinder, inspired by a cargo ship that sunk in 2002 and User Group Disco, which comments on consumption and desire.
Viewers in the U.K. can watch coverage of last night’s ceremony here. The Turner Prize exhibition will be on display through January 6, 2013 at the Tate Britain in London. See our related post for the shortlisted artists announced earlier this year.