East London architecture outfit Assemble has won the 2015 Turner Prize
The 18-strong group has become the first collective - and the first architecture practice - to win the prestigious accolade in a move which was described as ‘changing the nature of the art prize’.
Assemble was handed the £25,000 prize for its work with local residents in regenerating the rundown Granby Four Streets estate in Liverpool. After fighting demolition plans, locals formed a community land trust and brought in the emerging practice to help improve the houses and neighbourhood.
The announcement was made at the Tramway in Glasgow last night (8 December) by artist and musician Kim Gordon who mistakenly called the group Assembly on the live Channel 4 television broadcast.
The collective saw off competition from three London-based female artists: Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel, and Nicole Wermers.
The jury, which was chaired by Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson, and included director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art Alistair Hudson, Glasgow Sculpture Studios’ Kyla McDonald, Joanna Mytkowska from Museum Sztuki Nowoczesnej, critic Jan Verwoert, ‘applauded Assemble for the strength of its nominated work’.
’Assemble’s project really addressed a current problem’
Speaking to the AJ about the judges’ decision, Hudson, said: ’Assemble’s project really addressed a current problem - the state of planning, top-down regeneration, and the way our cities are organised. This has a direct effect on society.’
When asked about whether awarding the prize to an architecture practice had created a shift in the art world, he added: ’There is a moment now. We are in an era post-2008 of a very volatile and unstable socio-economic and political situation. Out of this the boundaries between art and architecture are changing. We need to rethink the disciplines.’
The Turner Prize, which was established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under 50 years of age for an outstanding recent exhibition or other presentation of work.
Last year’s accolade was picked up by the relatively unknown Glasgow-based film-maker Duncan Campbell.
The work of all the artists nominated for the prize remains on display at the Tramway until 17 January.
Should Assemble have won the 2015 Turner Prize?