Duncan Campbell wins art's prestigious Turner Prize for film essay combining dance, Marxism



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LONDON — Video artist Duncan Campbell has won Britain's prestigious Turner Prize with a film essay that includes a dance sequence inspired by Karl Marx.

Ireland-born, Scotland-based Campbell took the 25,000-pound ($40,000) award for "It For Others," which combines African art, political philosophy and images from Northern Ireland 's "troubles" to explore ideas of value and commodification.

'Campbell's work, praised by the judging panel as "topical and compelling," beat entries from video artists James Richards and Tris Vonna-Mitchell, and screen-printer Ciara Phillips.

The prize, given annually to a British or Britain-based artist under 50, often sparks heated debate about the value of modern art.

Named for 19th-century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, the award helped make stars of transvestite potter Grayson Perry, shark pickler Damien Hirst and "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen.

But it is also routinely mocked as pretentious and impenetrable. In The Guardian, critic Adrian Searle said Campbell's piece "can seem more like an academic PowerPoint lecture than an artwork."

Campbell, who was presented with his award Monday by "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor, said the prize "has given me great heart."

He suggested he might follow Academy Award-winner McQueen into feature filmmaking.

"It's something I've being exploring with the distributor that I work with," Campbell said. "I wouldn't rule it in, but I wouldn't rule it out."

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