Mark Wallinger has been named the winner of the Turner Prize for his replica of the one-man anti-war protest in Parliament Square, State Britain. Actor and director Dennis Hopper presented the £25,000 award at a ceremony at the Tate Liverpool gallery.
“I am indebted to all those people who contributed to the making of State Britain,” said Wallinger.
For the exhibition he chose to display a film of him roaming the National Gallery in Berlin in a bear suit.
It was the first time since the award was founded 23 years ago that the event took place outside London.
Around 45,000 people have seen the exhibition of the nominees’ work, which has been on display since October.
Wallinger first made the shortlist in 1995, but lost out to Damien Hirst.
He was favourite to win the prize for his £90,000 installation, which recreates everything from Brian Haw’s protest in Parliament Square in 2001.
Dennis Hopper presented the award to Mark Wallinger
Every detail was copied from his tarpaulin shelter and tea-making area to the messages of support and hand-painted placards.
It is said he employed 15 people for six months to make State Britain.
“Brian Haw is a remarkable man who has waged a tireless campaign against the folly and hubris of our government’s foreign policy,” Wallinger said.
“For six-and-a-half years he has remained steadfast in Parliament Square, the last dissenting voice in Britain. Bring home the troops, give us back our rights, trust the people,” he added.
The jury commended Wallinger, 48, for its “immediacy, visceral intensity and historic importance”.
They said: “The work combines a bold political statement with art’s ability to articulate fundamental human truths.”
The other artists on the shortlist, Zarina Bhimji, Mike Nelson and Nathan Coley, each received £5,000 for their “outstanding presentations” at the show.
Brian Haw’s protest in Parliament Square began in 2001
Nelson was shortlisted for Amnesiac Shrine, which features a maze of mirrors, while Bhimji’s photographs of Uganda included a picture of automatic guns lined up against a wall.
Coley’s work is a scaffold with the phrase “there will be no miracles here” spelt out in lightbulbs.
The Turner Prize, established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of his or her work in the 12 months before May this year.
Last year German-born artist Tomma Abts became the first woman painter to win the prize.
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