The Price is right: ex-pop star takes £25k art award

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The Independent Online

Former 1980s pop musician Elizabeth Price was last night awarded the Turner Prize for her "seductive and immersive" video trilogy, the first video artist to win for over a decade.

Price beat the bookies' favourite to be handed the £25,000 prize at Tate Britain. She was previously a member of the pop group Talulah Gosh.

The 45-year-old's work merges archive footage of architecture, news clips, advertising and videos of pop musicians performing.

Price's trilogy, The Woolworths Choir of 1979, had been described as a "tour de force" in the build-up to the ceremony. It takes viewers from a slow treatise on churches, which is shaken up by 1960s band the Shangri-Las and moves on to news items covering the 1979 fire in a Manchester department store that left 10 dead.

The jury "admired the seductive and immersive qualities of Price's video trilogy, which reflects the ambition that has characterised her work in recent years".

They said they were "impressed by the way Price creates a rhythmic and ritualistic experience through her film installations combining different materials and technical vocabularies, from archival footage and popular music videos to advertising."

Describing her work, London-based Price said: "I use digital video to explore the divergent forces that are at play when you bring so many different technological histories together. We can move between genres and forms from something that looks like a PowerPoint lecture to something that looks like an infomercial to something that feels like a cinematic melodrama. I'm working intentionally to try to make dense, complex things."

She said a film takes her a year to make, then she continues to rework it. "I'm interested in video as something you experience sensually as well as something you might recognise."

The Turner Prize began in 1984 and helped boost Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin – although she has yet to win it. Last year sculptor Martin Boyce won the award.