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French artist Laure Prouvost wins Britain’s Turner prize

French artist Laure Prouvost wins Britain’s Turner prize

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Published : 2013-12-03 19:25
Updated : 2013-12-03 19:25

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland (AFP) ― French artist Laure Prouvost on Monday won Britain’s Turner prize for contemporary art for her video installation set among a mock-tea party setting, it was announced at a ceremony in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

“The jury thought her work was outstanding for its complex and courageous combination of images and objects in a deeply atmospheric environment,” said an official press release from Tate, the award’s partners.

Young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, who starred in 2007 film “Atonement,” presented Prouvost, 35, the 25,000 pound ($40,000) award for her work, entitled “Wantee.”

“I’m not ready, I didn’t expect it at all,” said the surprise winner.

“Four incredible artists here with me and the show. I thought it can’t be me, I was sure it was not me. So thank you everybody.

“Thank you for adopting me, for having a French one, I feel adopted by the U.K.,” she added.

“I’ve been here half my life. My boyfriend is half British and my daughter is both. It was really this country that let me grow.”

The prize is unique in Britain in the way it sparks a debate among people who are not normally interested in art, with notorious British artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin helping to raise its profile.

The four nominees created a typically eclectic collection for this year’s prize exhibition in Londonderry, the first time it has been staged outside England.

The work that got many visitors scratching their heads was Tino Sehgal’s “This is Exchange,” an empty room where guests are offered a small amount of money to engage in conversations about the market economy.

Another entry, David Shrigley’s “Life Model,” a larger-than-life naked humanoid robot which blinks and periodically urinates, was judged too offensive for some visiting school groups.

The most conventional artist to be nominated was Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, a portrait artist of Ghanaian descent and the first black woman to be shortlisted for the prize.

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