Architectural practice to win Turner Prize for the first time
Monday evening saw the announcement of the 2015 Turner Prize winner. Britain’s (and possibly Europe’s) most prestigious contemporary art award pays honour each year to a British artist under 50, who presented an outstanding exhibition or other project in the preceding 12 months. This year the ceremony and the accompanying exhibition was held for the first time in Scotland, at the Glaswegian art venue Tramway. The evening turned out to be very special not only because of the location: from the shortlisted names Assemble, Bonnie Camplin, Jackie Kerbel, and Nicole Wermers, Assemble were named as the winner.
The decision is definitely a milestone in the history of the Turner Prize, as this is the first time ever that not a person but a collective was chosen, and also the first time that an architectural practice could steal the show. Moreover, the Assemble team counting 18 members is the youngest winner of all times. The London-based studio is merging architecture, art, and design in their practice. Thier mission is to go beyond initiating a conversation with the audience by involving them in the actual realisation of the work itself, elevating public collaboration to a new level.
Their prize-winning project was an urbanistic-social venture coordinated together with the Granby Four Streets land trust in Liverpool. Assemble set out to renovate derelict houses of the street that have already been scheduled for demolition. As an even more forceful step, they set up a workshop with local craftsmen, selling homeware products made from material salvaged from the site.
It is no wonder that the Turner committee valued such a comprehensive project utilising architecture, design, and art to solve social, economical, and urbanistic issues, their statement reading “the long term collaboration between Granby Four Streets and Assemble shows the importance of artistic practice being able to drive and shape urgent issues in the post-industrial era.” Although the infusion of the various creative field is very much tangible these days, it is reassuring to see that the higher establishments are starting to recognise such practices that step beyond the realm of visual arts.
Source: It’s Nice That
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