Turner Prize 2023: A Minority Petting Zoo

As a once great art award limps on, artist and art critic Alexander Adams assesses its real role for the liberal elite.


The 2023 Turner Prize winner was announced last week, with artist Jesse Darling securing the £25,000 award on December 5th. As I have previously discussed on Lotus Eaters, you will have noticed little about this once significant and prestigious award in recent years. It used to serve as a litmus paper for controversial and memorable art being exposed to the scrutiny of the press and debate of the public. However, interest in the prize has diminished rapidly since 2000.

The decline in the prize’s status is being disguised by taking the exhibition of shortlisted artists, traditionally held at Tate Britain in London, on the road. This year, it was held in Eastbourne. Purely coincidentally, this means diminishing attendance figures can be obfuscated. After all, how can one compare attendance at venues in Newcastle, Londonderry, Margate, or Hull to those at the Tate, a national museum situated in the centre of the capital?

Transgender Winner

The winner of this year’s prize is Jesse Darling — previously Jessie Darling — who identifies as “transmasculine”. The winning assemblage consists of crowd barriers, junk, and faded patriotic bunting. It is dispiriting for anyone who might expect art to provide inspiration, beauty, insight, or a transcendent experience.

Much state-funded contemporary art, and most particularly the Turner Prize (which is chosen and curated by an elite class of artists, gallerists, and museum administrators who are funded by the state and NGOs), is immune from public criticism and accountability. Its presence is a provocation to the average person, who is generally shamed into recalcitrant silence for fear of being mocked as an ignoramus or bigot should he or she voice objections or doubts about the value of junk strewn around a public gallery. It is “amnesiac art.” Whatever your response, at least you could remember Damien Hirst’s shark or Tracey Emin’s bed. You will not be able to describe Darling’s installation adequately; so forgettable and insubstantial is it.

The reason Darling won was due to identity. The jury wanted to give the prize to its first transgender winner. To put it crudely, the Turner Prize winner scorecard for 2014-2023 looks like this: one transgender artist, two political collectives, two black women, one white lesbian, one heterosexual white woman, one white man, one award cancelled, one award shared by all nominees. No one seriously believes these winners were chosen because of their art rather than their identities. I should be embarrassed to write in such reductive terms, but that is how these individuals are described in artist-sanctioned press releases. After all, that is how they get the public exhibitions and commissions which fuel their careers and take them to the level of Turner Prize nomination.

A Minority Petting Zoo  

The fact that winners are chosen to serve as symbols of progressivism, without consideration of skill, originality, profundity, or beauty in their art, is obvious to all. The Turner Prize functions for the elite caste as a petting zoo of minorities. Ultra-liberal juries, museum staff, and conscientious attendees use the prize to display their loyalty to the elite’s ideology. Attending the exhibition and praising the winner is an act of status affiliation; that is, people can show that they are members of the elite class by acknowledging the importance and ability of a winner whom everyone knows was chosen not for their importance or ability but rather because they are politically useful tokens. In an approved public forum, once a year, the chattering classes can get close to the work of a real-life minority, just as one can go to a petting zoo and stroke a tarantula or take a selfie with a koala.

What sort of artist is willing to endure such tokenization? I have met some of these artists, and it seems that they do understand they are being used but refuse to admit that to themselves. They have to engage in doublethink: I am the worthy beneficiary of historical redress; I am here on merit alone. The contradictions are as obvious and inadmissible for the state-funded trophy-minority artist as they are for the prize organizers. The millionaire octogenarian and his beauty-queen bride both have to persuade themselves she is marrying for love or else even the semblance of dignity and respect fall by the wayside.

We all know what the Turner Prize is, but few can speak the truth aloud. As my artistic career in publicly-funded venues is over, I can tell you that truth: the Turner Prize is a degrading spectacle of political patronage rewarding loyal talentless functionaries of a corrupt regime on the basis of minority status in order to humiliate and demoralise those who love art.”

I once attended the Turner prize exhibition, at Liverpool Tate in the 2000’s I think, can’t really remember because I tried to forget it as best I could. The winner was a film of some dipstick wandering round an empty building in a bear suit. It was an utter bag of shite. Made me want to smash some of the drivel, but I refrained for obvious reasons…

 

Source: https://www.lotuseaters.com/turner-prize-2023-a-minority-petting-zoo-14-12-23

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3 Responses to “Turner Prize 2023: A Minority Petting Zoo”

  1. ian says:

    Everybody, sheeple, retard friends of mine, pensioners, the lot, if you ask them, know this shit show is wrong, or at least should be wrong. They can’t generally put in words why, or the mindset behind it, but they know. They see that everything that made the people of Britain, Europe, and Scandinavia, who they were, is being destroyed. We fought European Countries, but didn’t dispute ,eg that Italy had greats like Da Vinci, or that France had greats like Descartes. We are being destroyed, our history and heritage is being obfuscated and demeaned. Our societies are being demoralised and our children are being sexualised, all against our will. The Globalists behind the WHO are behind it, and the WEF, and Covid vaxxes, and TV , radio, and more and more of the internet. One thing however we can be sure of, is that they’re not behind us or caring for our wellbeing or future. We who made Britain and Europe what it is, are surplus to requirements. Useless eaters. Our replacements expecting the life of an Irishman called Riley, will gradually be disappointed, as those funding them, once expired, will leave the overlords to provide for them with the same empathy as that enjoyed by the inhabitants of Palestine. Tits up, is a saying I wold love to see being used to describe how these plans went, but time will tell.

  2. Belyi says:

    ‘…these artists, and it seems that they do understand they are being used but refuse to admit that to themselves.’

    Well of course they refuse to admit it and so would I for £25,000. Anyone with half a brain can see that the emperor has no clothes.

    • pete fairhurst 2 says:

      Indeed Belyi, modern art has no soul, it’s not organic at all, it’s just about money and status and propaganda

      Not hard to understand why when one knows that modern art was created by the Rockefellers. Who funded the first Museum Of Modern Art, MOMA in New York in the 1920’s. And who installed their CIA honchos as Directors of the museum post WW2