Monday, 3 December 2007

Brian Haw Design Wins

This is the non-event of the year: the Turner Prize ceremony up in Liverpuddle. The winner is predictably Mark Wallinger - here dressed in a bear suit - for State Britain, his pathetic copy of a display by anti-war protester Brian Haw. If anyone deserves the £25,000 prize for designing that mess, it's Mr Haw, not the twerp who copied it. And yes, Coxsoft Art did report that Wallinger was expected to win (CLICK). Personally I think the award should have been withheld this year. When you award dross, you devalue the award. Come to think of it, the Turner Prize should have been withheld most years. It may be worth £25,000 to the winner, but to the art world it has no value. Why reward Anti-art?


At 4/12/07, Blogger Charles Thomson said...

Not only did Wallinger ape the Stuckists in donning a ridiculous outfit and wandering round a museum (we did it first in 2000), he also copied Stuckist artist, Abby Jackson's, painting which was in Brian Haw's original display. Ho hum. See

At 4/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi again, Charles

He copied a Banksy too (with the artist's permission). And a bunch of students did most of the work. All he did was photograph the original display and organize copying it. What a rip-off! The only excuse for the Turner Prize is to find originality. After this year, they should scrap it. Where's the originality in copying other people's work?

At 4/12/07, Blogger Charles Thomson said...

Quite. It's as bad as Raphael sneaking into the Sistine Chapel.

At 4/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

...And kicking the ladder out from under Michelangelo and calling the splash on the floor "art"!

At 4/12/07, Blogger Charles Thomson said...

I'm not sure he did the ladder bit...

At 4/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Poetic licence. It would be a bit difficult to kick scaffolding away.

At 4/12/07, Blogger Charles Thomson said...

The scaffolding had to be dismantled and rebuilt to move it every time, unlike the recent restoration where lighter materials meant it could be on wheels and the whole thing moved along for a new section of ceiling. Great article on it at

At 4/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

At 6/12/07, Anonymous Katherine said...

But you're taking it too simply.

Mark's work was about the right to protest also, it highlighted that Brian was not allowed to protest and that his act became illegal - then it highlights the differences an arts institution puts on work and expressions - especially with the close proximity. Look a bit deeper, Brian Haw's protest has now been published and reported to a much wider audience, wider than Brian could've acheived.

Mark's taken the work and simply placed it in a different context, highlight the different values and channels of expression and communication.

Mark has always stated that it was Brian Haw's protest, and Brian's work.

Don't believe the Daily Mail's of the world, look deeper!

At 16/1/08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi coxsoft art,
I am glad, that you realized this too . I thought nobody will realize it. ganz klar der preis hätte an haw gehen müssen. wallinger is, das darf man nicht unterschätzen, a big narzissus and he has good relationship to the press.
aus ganz sicherer quelle weiss ich, er hat 2 editionen vom bär aufgelegt, obwohl er die urheberrechte nicht hatte. editionen im werte von über 200.000 € ! und er hat der künstlerin die das bild als bild erschaffen hatte kein geld gegeben dafür und er beging eine urheberrechtsverletzung!
als die künstlerin (wie viele künstler lebt auch sie unterhalb der existenzgrenze)darauf aufmerksam wurde und ihn darauf hingewiesen hatte, hat er kurzerhand das bild mit einer schlechten kopie ausgetauscht.
es ist nicht mehr das bild wie im katalog catalogue, art basel /36/ p.443! was ist daran erhaben? ist das jetzt der neue trend in der kunst? ein award für inhumanes handeln? vorsicht liebe sammler, dear collectors you do beware!

At 16/1/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Anon

Babel Fish made a bit of a mess of translating the German part of your message, but I caught the drift. Here it is for my other readers:

completely clearly the price would have had to go on Haw more Wallinger is, which one may not underestimate, to narcissus...US from completely safer white I, it pour have 2 editions of the bear presented, although he did not have copyrights editions in worth of over 200.000 euros! and it does not have the artist those the picture as picture to create had money given for it and it committed a copyright infringement! as the artist (like many artists also it lives underneath existenzgrenze)darauf attentively and it to it had referred, it short hand the picture with a bad copy exchanged. it is not any more the picture as in the catalog catalogue, kind Basel /36/ p.443! what is raised to it? is that now the new trend in the art? award for inhumanes act? caution dear collecting tanks.

Had you noticed that Brian Haw was arrested recently and manhandled by the Metropolitan Police? How's that as an example of one law for the rich and another for the poor?

State Britain indeed!

At 29/1/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Belated Hi, Katherine.

Your comment must have been spammed out of my inbox. I've only just found it awaiting moderation in Blogger. Sorry about the delay.

I didn't know the Daily Mail had an arts column!

I've seen a lot more about Brian Haw's protest on BBC TV than I have about the State Britain show. So I think you've got it the wrong way round. Mark has jumped on Brian's publicity to grab his own share of Brian's limelight. That isn't spreading the word. It's self-publicity seeking.

When you say "Mark's taken the work and simply placed it in a different context" you're absolutely right. He copied Brian's display and persuaded a lot of helpers to build it for him in an art gallery, as though that makes it 1) art and 2) Mark's art. No way. A copy is a copy. It isn't original and it doesn't have extra worth because somebody on a higher social level than Brian thought it worth copying.

And to add insult to injury, Mark wins £25,000 for his copy, as though he created Brian's display! Talk about taking the credit for something you didn't make! Disgusting! If Mark had any decency he would give the award to Brian.

At 6/2/08, Blogger Charles said...

Mark Wallinger is claiming that it is his art because he had the wonderful concept of copying it and putting it in a gallery. It is not "State Britain by Brian Haw and the public." Abby Jackson, a Stuckist artist whose painting was copied as part of the display, was quoted in the Observer: "State Britain is a true metaphor of conceptual art, as it's fake. I feel that I and the other people who contributed to Brian's display are the original artists." However, not to worry, she did get a copyright fee for reproductions - £7.50 to be precise.

At 6/2/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Charles

Abbey received £7.50 and Wallinger got £25,000! I guess Banksy got another £7.50 for his contribution to Brian Haw's display. And, as far as I know, the Met. Police are still holding all this original artwork they confiscated!

For Goodness' sake!

How about starting a No 10 petition to have the Turner Prize withdrawn from Wallinger and demand he pay back the money?

Wallinger cannot be accused of plagiarism in the first instance, because he never passed Haw's work off as his own; but by awarding the Turner Prize to Wallinger instead of Haw, as though the "art" were Wallinger's, the judges turned a mere copy into plagiarism. And it could be argued that by accepting the prize as though he, not Haw, deserved it, Wallinger complied with the judges' decision to turn a copy into plagiarism. He should have said "No, I don't deserve this award; give it to Brian Haw".

But it's the Turner Prize judges' fault in the first place, not Wallinger's. I'm sure most of us would have difficulty turning down £25,000, whether we deserved it or not.

At 8/2/08, Blogger Charles Thomson said...

I have a better petition in the pipeline!

Just for the record, Wallinger got copyright clearance to use their work from everyone he could trace.

I guess they gave it to him for his "idea" - namely, copy it.

At 9/2/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Hi, Charles

I'm all agog. Please let me know when your petition pops out of the pipeline.

Thought: isn't a certain Stuckist back in court this month? Must check.

At 12/2/08, Blogger Charles Thomson said...

Keep your eye on

Yes, Michael Dickinson is in court in Istanbul on 24 March 2008 in a political trial for his collage commenting on the Turkish Prime Minister.

At 12/2/08, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Thanks, Charles. I'll post a blog on the petition next month. (I was told it would remain online until the trial.)


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