Turner Prize shortlist 2019

Clockwise from top left: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani

The Turner Prize has announced it’s shortlist for the 2019 edition of the award. The nominees are Jordanian Lawrence Abu Hamdan, London-based Helen Cammock and Tai Shani and Colombian Oscar Murillo.

Beirut-based Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist who describes himself as an ‘audio investigator’. Working specifically on the politics of sound and speech, Abu Hamdan’s audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International. The artist’s forensic audio investigations are conducted as part of his research for Forensic Architecture (who were nominated for last year’s Turner Prize). Abu Hamdan was the recipient of the 2018 Abraaj group art prize, his film Rubber Coated Steel (2016) won the Tiger short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival in 2017, and his exhibition Earshot at Portikus Frankfurt (2016) won him the 2016 Nam June Paik Award for new media. In 2016 he published an artist book, [inaudible] : A politics of listening in 4 acts.

Helen Cammock’s most recent and current exhibitions include Shouting in Whispers at Reading Museum during Reading International in March 2019 and The Long Note at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (on through May 2019). She was awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in April 2018, and will open a solo show at Whitechapel Gallery titled Che Si Può Fare (What Can be Done) in June 2019. In her work as a multimedia artist, Cammock is interested in ‘histories, storytelling and the excavation, re-interpretation and re-presentation of lost, unheard and buried voices. Cammock uses her own writing, literature, poetry, philosophical and other found texts, often mapping them onto social and political situations’.

Tai Shani’s works involve performance, film, photography and installation, and revolve around experimental narrative texts. These alternate between familiar narrative tropes and structures, and theoretical prose in order to blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, ‘with the intention of disrupting a real world dominated by, and centred around, a white, western, male point of view’. Her ongoing project Dark Continent Productions proposes an allegorical city of women as an experimental and expanded adaptation of Christine de Pizan’s 1405 pioneering feminist book. Her most recent exhibitions and commissions include projects at Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2016), RADAR commission, Loughborough University, (2016) and Serpentine Galleries (2016).

Colombian-British Oscar Murillo investigates ‘notions of community, informed by cross-cultural personal ties, as well as the constant transnational movement that has become integral to his practice’. He works with a variety of media including painting, installation, video works, and ‘actions’, while exploring themes of globalisation, production and consumption, and labour and migration. Murillo is working on a longterm project titled Frequencies, conceived in collaboration with members of his family and the political scientist Clara Dublanc, for which canvases are temporarily affixed to classroom desks in selected schools around the world, encouraging students aged 10 to 16 to draw or write on them. This year, he has opened the following exhibitions: Violent Amnesia at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, England, Oscar Murillo | Zhang Enli at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai and Virus – Mimmo Rotella & Oscar Murillo at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. 

Their works will go on show at the Turner Contemporary in Margate from 28 September – January 2020.
The winner will be announced on 3 December.

1 May 2019