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Turner Prize demos: NPG/Tate (2000) 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Other demos:
List of Stuckist demos Trafalgar Square (2001) White Cube (2002) Saatchi Gallery (2005)

Also on this site: TateSerota petition Stuckist donation Trustee scandal
On this page: Lights Press Art Clown Jacqueline's eggs Rachel's painting
6 November 2001 at the press launch and 9 December 2001 on prize day

There was a plain-clothes Stuckist demo on 6 Nov 2001 at the Press Launch of the Turner Prize at Tate Britain, and a Stuckist demo in clown costume on 9 Dec 2001 on the prize-giving day.

"In certain respects the Turner Prize never changes: art fleetingly makes the front pages; the dreary Stuckists protest outside the Tate and the winner gets a cheque for 20 grand."
- The Independent on Sunday p.10 (11.11.01)

The plain-clothes Stuckist demo on 6 Nov 2001
Philip Absolon, Remy Noe, Mary Lewenhagen, SP Howarth,
Charles Thomson, anon, Daniel Pincham-Phipps, Michael Kidd

Stuckist demo in clown costume on 9 Dec 2001

The clown demo featured a cardboard cut-out of Tracey Emin. In the evening, the Stuckists created their own Turner piece of art by flashing torches on and off. The Turner winner was Martin Creed, who turned a light on and off.

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The clown demo was syndicated for worldwide TV coverage to over 400 stations by Reuters. Regan Tamanui of the Melbourne Stuckists writes: "I woke up this morning & turned on the news & saw you guys protesting. It was really cool." Michel Castaignet of Marseille Stuckists: "It was also broadcasted in France at the noon and evening news on First Channel."

"As has become the custom in recent years, the Stuckists, a group of traditional artists opposed to Sir Nicholas Serota and the Turner prize, were vicious in their criticism. Charles Thomson, the Stuckists' leader, said: 'The Turner prize is a national joke. It promotes mindless conformist novelty and gimmick at the expense of real values. It's out of touch with society, life and the majority of artists.' "Yesterday, they picketed the awards ceremony when it was broadcast live by Channel 4, with some members dressed as clowns to protest at what they call the Tate's "media circus". They named Sir Nicholas the Art Clown of the Year and said they would be inviting him to buy a custard pie and push it into his own face."
- The Independent (10.12.01)

"Outside, a group of artists known as The Stuckists, who campaign for traditional artistry, staged a protest. As guests arrived for the evening affair, they mocked Mr Creed’s work by flashing torches on and off and called for the resignation of the Tate’s director, Sir Nicholas Serota. Charles Thomson, a co-founder of The Stuckists, said: “It has gone beyond a joke . . . the only people who cannot see how ridiculous this whole thing is are the organisers themselves.” Mr Thomson said Mr Creed’s work exuded “outstanding stupidity”."
- The Times (10.12.01)

"Creed's The Lights Going On and Off, an empty room in which the lights do just that, is the most minimal work ever to win the £20,000 prize, so minimal in fact that many of those who have seen it were unaware it was anything more than dodgy wiring. But the judges, who included the Tate supremo Sir Nicholas Serota, loved it for its daring and for driving some traditionalists to apoplexy. Last night a group of Stuckists - angry at the way painters have been sidelined by the prize - rose to the bait and gathered outside flashing their torches on and off in protest."
- The Guardian (10.12.01)

"But dissent against the judges' choice has already begun, after a group of traditionalists called The Stuckists protested outside the Tate. They made their feelings known with their own makeshift, modernist masterpiece - flashing handheld torches on and off. The group's founder, Charles Thomson, said: "This has gone beyond a joke. The only people who cannot see how ridiculous it is are the organisers themselves."
- BBC (10.12.01)

Ekow Eshun said in Shock Tactics on the BBC site, "if scandal equated directly to success then this year's winners should probably be the Stuckists, the ragged band of artist malcontents who've turned their annual placard-waving anti-Turner protest outside the Tate into a kind of art event of their own that now generates press attention from around the world."

Turner Prize 2001 in Pictures on BBC News Online shows the nominees and the Stuckist demo.

The demo was reported in The New York Times (14.12.01).

Stuckist view on Martin Creed in the Turner Prize cited in Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2007. See note 5 here (pdf).

A photo of the demo was included in an article by Caroline Rossiter in The Faster Times (6.12.09).

A photo of the demo was included in Jonathan Jones' Guardian blog (25.11.10).

Scottish paper The Herald (11.12.01) prints a profile of the group

Briefing: The Stuckists They protested outside the Tate Gallery on Sunday night against the award of this year's (pounds) 20,000 Turner Prize to Martin Creed.

Q: How?
A: A group of Stuckists flashed torches on and off, mimicking Creed's winning work, Lights Going On and Off (an empty room in which the lights do just that).
Q: Why don't they like Creed?
A: It's not so much Creed as the minimalist, conceptualist art behind his work that sticks in the craw of the Stuckists. They believe painters have been consistently ignored for the Turner Prize; or the Turnip Prize, as they call it.
Q: Have painters been shunned?
A: The Stuckists do seem to have a point. Think of the Turner Prize and you think of Creed and lightbulbs, Tracey Emin and unmade beds, and Damien Hirst and sheep in formaldehyde. Stuckists oppose Brit Art, performance art, installation art, conceptual art, and minimal art; ''anything which incorporates dead animals and beds, because they are boring''.
Q: What do they stand for?
A: Painting, the most vital artistic means of addressing issues.
Q: Examples of their art?
A: Ella Guru's portraits of men in beehive wigs; an axe-wielding Jayne Mansfield by Joe Machine, a self-taught artist; and Home from the Abbatoir, by Charles Williams (the Royal Academy).
Q: Where did they get their name?
A: After Tracey Emin had been nominated for the Turner, she told Billy Childish, her former boyfriend: ''Your paintings are stuck, you are stuck! Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!''
Q: What did Childish do?
A: He wrote a poem incorporating the insult. Charles Thomson, a fellow artist, read it, coined the term Stuckism, and formed the pro-painting group with Childish. Thomson stood for the Stuckist Party in the general election.
Q: Against whom?
A: Chris Smith. The former culture secretary had, paradoxically, suggested there should be more painting in the Turner. But he wasn't the real enemy.
Q: Who was?
A: Two powerful men. First, Charles Saatchi. Stuckists say the country's serious artists, and culture generally, have suffered because the past decade has been dominated by the buying power, media manipulation, and tastes of the arts patron and collector. Second, Sir Nicholas Serota. Stuckists accuse the Tate supremo of ''narrow taste'' in promoting the YBA (young British artists) such as Hirst and Creed, to the detriment of others.


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The Art Clown of the Year Award 2001 was won by Sir Nicholas Serota. Other nominees were Charles Saatchi (last year's winner), Norman Rosenthal and Sarah Kent.

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Jacqueline Crofton got in the news and the Tate's bad books by throwing an egg at the wall of Martin Creed's non-exhibit. She was nothing to do with the Stuckists, although she was invited to show, and did so, in the Stuckism International Gallery's first show in July 2002.

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The Whole World - The Turner Prize = A Better World

by Rachel Jordan

A tribute to 2001 Turner Prize winner Martin Creed's work The Whole World + the Work = The Whole World
This was the text of Creed's neon at one time defacing the front of Tate Britain.
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