Mark Wallinger has taken this years’ Turner Prize – not for his haunting video of nocturnal, bear-suit clad wanderings, ‘Sleeper’, but for ‘State Britain’, his recreation of Brian Haw’s peace camp display.
Accepting the £25,000 award, Wallinger stated “It was the best thing that was shown this year, and I don’t think I should be humble about it.” Wallinger continues the precedent set by Madonna, the 2001 prize-giver, whose veneration for plain speaking caused almost as much controversy as the prize itself – “In a world where political correctness is valued over honesty I would also like to say, right on m****r f***ers, everyone is a winner.”
Financially, Wallinger is still some £65,000 short of winning, having spent around £90,000 recreating the posters and political paraphernalia which Haw had spent five years amassing as part of his protest against the economic sanctions against Iraq in 2001. Will Wallinger be graciously sharing his spoils with his muse? When asked, his response was certainly candid – “What I do with the prize money is my business.”