Crashing in from work on Monday evening, I switched on Channel 4 News. Among the lead stories was a live piece from Liverpool's Albert Dock. The programme's highly cerebral & urbane arts correspondent, Nicholas Glass, looking uncomfortable in a to-camera piece, explained that this year's Turner Prize was being held at the venue to mark 2008. My heart sank. It sank even further when Warren Bradley, leader of the city council appeared to give his views on the contenders. Will Bradley be appearing as a pundit at the McCartney concert next summer, I wonder?
Anyway, it soon transpired that, save for a couple of ego-fuelled local politicos & arty types who had fetched up from Lark Lane, the audience was bussed up from London; the poor lambs, having to endure a December evening in the provinces!
As for the winner, Mark Wallinger, well, I suppose it all made sense to him as he videoed himself in a bear costume at a Berlin gallery. Furthermore, if it had a connection to the anti-war movement, as he claimed, well, good on the guy.
However, much as I like to retain an open mind on cultural persuits, I have to say that the Turner Prize has become a byword for inane, irrelevant, juvenile bullshit over the years (remember the electric light being switched on & off, a few years' ago?).
I have a suggestion for Mark. Why not take his costume to Khartoum, parade around the Sudanese capital & tell everyone that his name's Mohammed?