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the turner prize 2005
the turner prize 2005
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The art of gambling.

Is it really possible to predict the whims, fancies and fashions of the art world, and how they might affect the outcome of the Turner Prize? We place our bets below. But first, we asked Ladbrokes spokesman, David Williams, to tell us how the bookmakers calculate the odds...

"Over the years, bookmakers have attempted to pit their wits against punters who’ve been keen to wager on novelty markets. This year is no exception and Ladbrokes has once again priced up the Turner Prize market.

The appetite for novelty betting is growing year on year and bookies are anxious to price up the market as accurately as possible. In previous years, shrewd punters have taken the bookies for a ride and the top firms are keener than ever to ensure it doesn't happen too often.

We have a team of specialist traders at Ladbrokes whose experience in analyzing novelty markets is second to none. Occasionally we will enlist the services of a professional critic whose insight into novelty markets such as the Turner Prize is invaluable as we draw up our “tissue prices”. These are the first show of odds that we release and are often the prices which elicit the most attention.

Simon Starling (left) and Darren Almond (right).

In assessing the credentials of each entry, bookmakers follow their instincts and look at the formbook. Past winners are often an invaluable pointer to future winners. An appraisal of contemporary trends and fashions in the art world are also considered before prices are released.

Once available, the bookmakers brace themselves for the inevitable cascade of interest from art critics and everyday punters alike. The trading team monitors the weight of money, then adjusts prices accordingly. There is no secret weapon, no hidden agenda. Rather like the hundreds of punters who think they've got the winner, the bookies also have their fingers crossed and pray that they've got it right.

This year, Ladbrokes have installed Gillian Carnegie as the 5/4 favourite, with Simon Starling an interesting 7/4 chance and, to date, the popular choice for the punters. Darren Almond is a 4/1 chance with Jim Lambie the unlikely outsider at 5/1."

David Williams

Collective calls the odds…

Given the 22-year history of the prize, there are certain trends that could be used to hazard an informed guess about the outcome on 05 December. For instance, the most high profile nominees (see: Hirst, Emin, Taylor-Wood…) rarely seem to win. And third-time nominees always win. Having studied the form, here are our odds for this year’s winner.

Simon Starling - worth a flutter?
Starling’s giant wooden hut greets you as you enter this year’s show. It used to be a boat. Before that it was a hut. There’s also an electric bike he cobbled together before riding across a desert. It only produces water, which he used to paint a watercolour of a cactus, which he considered similar to the bike. His pieces play on the process of their creation, suggesting poetic, circular narratives reminiscent of Cornelia Parker’s work. Given that recent years have favoured a playful edge (Grayson Perry’s cross-dressing related pottery and Martin Creed’s The Lights Going On And Off) Starling’s definitely in with a chance.

Gillian Carnegie (left) and Jim Lambie (right).

Daren Almond – a dark horse?
If I Had You consists of four video projections in a darkened room. Having filmed his widowed grandmother returning to the place of her honeymoon, Blackpool, we see her watching a couple’s dancing feet. A windmill covered in light bulbs creeks, turning slowly. A melancholic piano plays prettily and footage of a sprinkler continues endlessly. Although it is moving, whole room video installations are passed over more often than not by Turner judges. Recent years have seen Kutlug Ataman, Willie Doherty and Isaac Julien all lose out. Recent video winners (Steve McQueen, Gillian Wearing, Jeremy Deller) just seem to be far more conceptual.

Gillian Carnegie – only for the brave
Not many painters have won lately, and the work of those who have (Keith Tyson and Chris Ofili) is unpretentious, in-your-face art. Carnegie’s repeated imagery of trees, bums and totally black wooded scenes is quiet, muted and a touch uninspiring. Suggested conceptual angles don’t seem to fit happily with it. A definite outsider, unless the judges decide to make a Saatchi-esque stand for painting…

Jim Lambie - Collective’s odds-on favourite
Lambie is the most well-known, at least in the UK, which historically puts him at a disadvantage. But he’s not art aristocracy yet, so maybe it won’t count against him. His installation, The Kinks, consists of three birds (enlarged replicas of statuettes found in junk shops) that have been decorated in varying ways, sitting on a psychedelic floor that’s been covered in black, white and silver vinyl tape. A mirrored silhouette of The Kinks is mounted on the wall. They’re familiar but foreign, over-the-top objects. The floor is trademark Lambie. As a whole it hits you as you walk in and it’s about what you experience looking at it. About resurrecting things which ring bells in the back of your mind. And there’s something oddly similar to Keith Tyson’s winning show of 2002, so perhaps his brazen kaleidoscopic, but still elegant show will take Lambie to the podium when the winner is announced.

Rowan Kerek 27 October 05
The Turner Prize is at Tate Britain until 22 January 06. The winner will be announced on 05 December 05.
Read members' comments related to this feature.
Starling Jihad post 18
comment by rowan    Jul 12, 2006
Great to see that the Turner Prize is going to be held in Liverpool next year -
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Starling Jihad post 17
comment by weegie     Jan 27, 2006

death seems a bit harsh, don'tcha think?
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Starling Jihad post 16
comment by bitties    Jan 27, 2006
I couldn't agree more
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Starling Jihad post 15
comment by bitties    Jan 27, 2006
The Infidels have gone too far, we declare a Jihad on anyone not representing the following in art

2)the Qu'ran
3)Cat stevens (AKA Yusuf Islam)
6)Ronnie O'sullivan (AKA Al-Abu Snooker-asiz


Hamza innit
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comment removed: breaks the house rules post 14
Turner prize - You got to know when to fold 'em post 13
comment by Spinky    Dec 6, 2005
I wasn't hugely impressed with it - it was interesting in a soundbite sort of way. Building a boat out of a shed & sailing it down a river - it's like the last story on the local news. It's as much art as the man who decorates his house with a thousand Christmas lights, or the man who changes his name to Mr Status Quo. Come to think of it - those would be pretty good Turner Prize installations.

I watched half of the program though, I ended up being glad I missed the first half, those art students annoyed me intensely.

In general though, I like art installations - the Ikon in Birmingham has a controversial one on at the moment - an artist (just called "Savage") who has put on a display of goods he's shoplifted from the city centre. Haven't been able to get there myself yet though.
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Turner prize - You got to know when to fold 'em post 12
comment by moorland dragon    Dec 6, 2005
The prize should have gone to B+Q!
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Turner prize - You got to know when to fold 'em post 11
comment by ravermcc    Dec 6, 2005
well to begin with he caught my imagination as he discussed his work only to be bitterly disappointed,he was soo close to a break through,i could feel what he was saying and doing,but `shed boat shed` i wanted secret scratchings ,masonic signals,only to be viewed upside down inside the `shed` above the entrance,i wanted him to be this wood,anyone who seen `turner` on ch4 last nite watch it again listen to him discuss the `shed`, there is `sparks` there,but i feel he hasn`t made that `biblical` break throught in his mind, a`jesus` indeed.
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Turner prize - You got to know when to fold 'em post 10
comment by rowan    Dec 6, 2005
So how do you feel about Simon Starling winning?
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Turner prize - You got to know when to fold 'em post 9
comment by ravermcc    Dec 5, 2005
painting drawing is to me , the only dynamic,dramatic basesist for all human expression,there can be no `purer` form of expression,to me the greatest work of art is a blank sheet or canvas, a`white box`,we are surrounded by graphic artists who are given `artist` statues, i really plead with ms emin ,hadid.i see and feel your up there with pollock,dekooning.get your brushes out i really would walk over hot coals to see such work.
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related info
tate: turner 2005
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see also
jim lambie
shoulder pad

gillian carnegie
days like these

turner prize 2004

graysongrayson perry
turner prize 2004

turner prize

turner prize
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billy childish
on turner prize '02

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