Turner prize heads for Liverpool

Great news, should upset a few locals too, heh-heh.
From today’s Guardian

Turner prize heads for Liverpool

Laura K Jones
Tuesday July 11, 2006
The Guardian

Next year’s Turner prize exhibition is set to take place outside London for the first time in its 24-year history. The 2007 show is likely to open at Tate Liverpool, rather than at its traditional home at Tate Britain – a huge coup for Liverpool, which takes up its role as European Capital of Culture in 2008. A Tate spokesperson last night said the gallery was in talks, but refused to confirm the move.

Only last week, Liverpool’s Culture Company, which will have played a large part in securing the relocation of the prize, lost its artistic director, Australian Robyn Archer. Archer resigned citing “personal reasons” although there had been criticism that she was spending too much of her time in Australia. A spokesman for the Culture Company told the Guardian: “Her leaving wasn’t a huge shock. We knew she would be conducting most of her work from Australia from the start.”

Bagging the Turner prize will be a massive boost for Liverpool – but what about London: are there signs that the capital is tiring of the art show? Jake Miller, director of the Approach gallery in east London, says: “The Turner prize is Tate Britain’s big showcase: it is what brings in the crowds, so it must be hard for them to let it go. But if you’re going to use terminology like ‘diversity’ and ‘decentralisation’, you have to apply it before people stop believing you.”


Over the past few years, artists have been turning down nominations for the prize; as the art market becomes more expensive, many are reluctant to commit to a big, non-commercial show. “If you get nominated for the Turner prize in April and have to produce a strong, competitive show by October,” says Miller, “everything else has to be put on hold. You sense a lot of successful artists feel the nomination is not as important as it used to be.”

If this is true, the move to Liverpool could revive the prize’s reputation, as well as deflect criticism that it is merely the plaything of a small London elite.