Spartacus Chetwynd Turner Prize video exclusive
Phaidon is first to preview the Turner Prize nominees work at Tate Britain
So we tried to bring you a twitter tour from the Turner Prize preview at Tate Britain this morning but the Gods of technology were sadly not on our side. We did, however, capture an exclusive, live performance piece created by one of the nominees, Spartacus Chetwynd, which we've posted below. It's a bit shaky in parts - it was a very well-attended, at times crowded preview - but we think the strength of the performance will carry you through the three-and-half or so minutes. Variations on the performance form part of Chetwynd's entry and will occur daily during the run of the show.
Born in London in 1973 Chetwynd studied social anthropology at University College London before receiving a BA from Slade School of Art in 2000 and an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2004. She's best known for her carnivalesque live performances featuring homemade costumes, props and sets which, at times, resemble the anarchy of a 16th century wandering troupe, dissolving the barrier between spectator and performer. Her overlapping of intellectual and popular sources through story telling, and the inclusive informality of her performances, create a space through which to explore topics of contemporary relevance.
Questions of class and the value of money regularly surface in Chetwynd's work. In the week-long performance The Walk To Dover 2005, Chetwynd and her troupe dressed as Victorian Street urchins to retrace the steps of Charles Dickens's character David Copperfield who flees London after his descent into a child labour factory. Meanwhile, her 2010 project for Frieze Art Fair, A Tax Haven Run By Women (In The Style Of A Luna Park Game Show) was inspired by "financially powerful" women such as Mae West and Dolly Parton alongside a perceived lack of discussion about money and tax in such environments. Based loosely on the game show format, two teams competed for a ride to the tax haven on the Catbus - a spectacular 12 legged flying bus operated by 10 puppeteers based on a Hayao Miyazaki animé character.