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Seemingly obligatory post on the Turner Prize 2015

By Paul Watson on .

Assemble

I didn’t watch the Turner Prize announcement last night, but I’m glad that Assemble won - looking at the nominees they seemed by far the best choice.

My main reason for preferring Assemble is that their art (possibly for the first time in the Turner Prize for as long as I can remember) wasn’t intended for consumption by “the art world” - by which I mean “the 1%”, big art institutions, and art funding bodies.

My only worry would be that winning the Turner Prize transforms Assemble into some sort of exclusive gentrification squad for turning rundown areas into designer high-income housing quarters, where the delightful door knobs were made by the residents who used to live there before they were priced out of the neighbourhood.

I don’t know much about the team that makes up Assemble, so I have no way of knowing whether this is something they’d slide into doing or whether it is a complete anathema to them. Obviously I hope it’s the latter.

The but is it art? argument about Assemble’s work just passes me by - I simply don’t care that much about defining what art is. When “the art world” (see my definition above) ask whether this is art, as some of them have been, I suspect that what they really mean by that is How can we commoditise this for a much more exclusive market with a far higher financial value—and subsequent return-on-investment—than selling £15 door knobs?.