Socialist Worker

Turner prize for Wallinger caps a year of anti-war art

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2081

Mark Wallinger

Mark Wallinger's installation State Britain

This year’s Turner prize for contemporary art went to Mark Wallinger for his installation State Britain, a reproduction of Brian Haw’s peace protest in Parliament Square that was torn down by police in May 2006.

Mark Wallinger gave a fiercely anti-war speech on accepting the prize, attacking the “folly and hubris of our government’s foreign policy” and adding, “Bring home the troops. Give us back our rights. Trust the people.”

The Turner win caps a year in which the war in Iraq burst into the normally sedate and apolitical world of visual art.

Other major artists addressing war-related themes this year included Steve McQueen’s Queen And Country, which portrayed British soldiers killed in Iraq on facsimile stamps.

The Institute of Contemporary Art held an exhibition about Iraq, while pop artist Gerald Laing produced a series of paintings addressing the war.

Other notable works included Peter Kennard’s Blairaq paintings and Nick Danziger’s photographs of Tony Blair during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Socialist Worker has interviewed many of these artists about their work over the past year.

» Mark Wallinger: anti-war art and the state of Britain today
» Nick Danziger's photos catch Tony Blair in the act
» Blairaq: Peter Kennard interviewed about his new exhibition
» Gerald Laing: Art that commemorates the brutality and horror of war

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Article information

Tue 11 Dec 2007, 18:44 GMT
Issue No. 2081
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