Beck's pushes boundaries with 'Bums Breakfast' and smelly shoes

Worn trainers, an obsolete bus stop and a peculiar rewriting of James Joyce's Ulysses are among the works competing for this year's Beck's Futures Prize for Britain's best young modern artists.

The big-footed Welsh comic Bedwyr Williams, with whom it is often difficult to determine where the jokes end and the art begins, is one of 13 competing for the £20,000 first prize. He offers Walk A Mile In My Shoes - a wall rack of 41 pairs of size 13s, among them tattered trainers, green wellies and worn-down sandals, which gallery visitors can try on. A shoehorn and mirrors are on hand for the discerning critic.

"This work is about an aspect of my life that has ruined walking trips, beach holidays, weddings and football games," said Williams. "I have size 13 feet. Since I was 18, I have struggled with shoe availability. You see a shoe that you like and when the mini-foot shop assistant brings it out in a size 13 it is a strange stretched version." He said the installation was "an invitation to share a little of my ongoing shoe struggle", and added: "Hopefully, I'm poking fun at myself."

The artists' work goes on show to the public from Friday at London's Institute of Contemporary Art on The Mall. For the first time, exhibitions will also run outside London at the Arnolfini, Bristol, and Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Arts.

The six-strong judging panel, including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Martin Creed and Cornelia Parker, shortlisted Simon Popper for Borromean - a pile of 1,000 reprinted copies of Ulysses, with every word of the original text reordered alphabetically. A toy train on a track, Sinthome, circles the books.

Richard Hughes, from Birmingham, made the cut with recycled rubbish: a repainted old bus stop and a floor-based installation called Bums Breakfast. He said he preferred "the more undesirable, discarded and worthless objects" such as broken furniture, old tyres and used bedding because, as "previously expired remnants of half-forgotten subcultures", they offered a window in to the past. German-born Daniel Sinsel created a canvas of tortellini pasta shapes, stitched out of linen.

The Brazilian Flavia Muller Medeiros, who explores how language influences our perceptions, rerecorded George Bush's inauguration speech using an actor, who reads it in the style of a fast-paced salesman. "I feel cynical of American conservatism and Bush today, whose politics I see as racist and regressive," she said, adding: "However cynical I am ... I am also interested in how powerful and effective they can be."

The prize was launched by Beck's and the ICA in 1999 to support and exhibit emerging UK-based artists at a critical point in their careers. This year, for the first time, the public gets a say in who wins by voting online. The artist who wins that poll receives a vote equal to that of each of the judges. The winner will be announced on 2 May, with the dozen other shortlisted artists sharing £18,000.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

360 Resourcing Solutions: Export Sales Coordinator

£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue