Turner artist sued in copyright rift

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The Independent Online

The Turner prize, contemporary art's most prestigious award, was at the centre of an unprecedented dispute when one of the shortlisted artists issued a writ against the dancer who collaborated with him.

The artist, Isaac Julien, has issued the writ in the High Court after a dispute with the choreographer, Javier de Frutos, who collaborated on the filmed piece The Long Road To Mazatlan. Mr de Frutos dances in the multiscreen installation, a meditation on masculinity and desire, and was the choreographer. But Mr Julien's writ seeks a declaration of his ownership of the copyright, The Independent has learnt.

Mr de Frutos, born in Venezuela, lives in London. Since Mr Julien's nomination they have fallen out, with the dancer claiming his role in the artistic process has not been adequately acknowledged.

Mr de Frutos said yesterday: "It was a collaboration ... My role as co-creator is implicit in the work. I'm not interested in awards, but I want my role acknowledged." He added that he had been offered £8,000 by Mr Julien's solicitors if he stopped expressing co-authorship.

Mr Julien, 41, said yesterday: "It saddens me that Javier's response has turned what should be a high moment for me into such a low one ... I hope for a speedy resolution to this dispute."