Money to burn in an eccentric cause: David Lister joins an unusual protest against the winner of the Turner Prize
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Wednesday 24 November 1993
Last night, the Foundation, the self-styled title of the former KLF pop group, took a number of selected journalists in a fleet of stretch limos to a field near Guildford. During the journey we were each handed pounds 1,600 - a total of pounds 40,000 - and when we arrived were asked to nail the money on to a wooden frame. As we did this, red tanks patrolled the perimeter of the field and dinner-jacketed bouncers protected another installation which had one million pounds in cash nailed to it. The installation containing the pounds 40,000 - the so-called 'award' by the Foundation to the Turner Prize-winner Rachel Whiteread whom they decided had produced the 'worst' body of art - was then driven to the Tate Gallery where the Foundation's directors attempted to burn it.
Miss Whiteread came out of the Tate to say, sarcastically, 'What an honour.' Later, a spokesman said she could not tolerate seeing the money burnt while artists were in need so she would be setting up a committee to distribute it to needy artists, although she strongly disapproved of the whole charade.
The K Foundation is headed by the former KLF members Phil Drummond and Jimmy Cauty. The latter is a former graphic designer, who, at the age of 17, was responsible for a best-selling Athena poster of the Hobbit, and who boasts that he has adorned more walls than any of the Turner nominees - a slightly empty boast as two on the shortlist were installation artists.
The pair paid for a series of advertisements in national newspapers over the summer, asking readers to vote on the worst of the Turner nominees. There were more than 3,000 replies.
The whole exercise, including adverts during last night's Channel 4 transmission of the Turner Prize, cost the two men pounds 200,000.
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