A performance artist who changed her name to Spartacus, lives in a nudist colony and had the audience voting in a five-hour play last year is one of four nominees for the Turner Prize, the U.K.’s top contemporary-art award.
Spartacus Chetwynd, 38, uses homemade costumes, puppets and props to stage humorous events. Last year, as Britain held a referendum on the voting system, she had visitors cast ballots to determine where they ended up. Some were thrust down an inflatable slide to a basement called “Dantescape,” paved with severed limbs and litter bags and featuring marionettes acting out a Biblical story.
The three other nominees are: Luke Fowler, whose films splice archive footage of faded public figures with his own; Paul Noble, who makes giant pencil sketches that start with a word; and Elizabeth Price, whose videos focus on objects.
Tate Britain Director Penelope Curtis, who chairs the five- person jury, said this year’s finalists were “artists who broadcast slowness.”
“It’s not a quick fix,” she said after a slide-show presentation of the shortlist. “None of these are something you can get in a few minutes.”
Works by the finalists will be shown in a Tate Britain exhibition opening on Oct. 2. The winner will be announced on Dec. 3.
To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri at firstname.lastname@example.org.