32-minute iPhone Film Wins Britain’s Prestigious Turner Prize

BRIDGIT, a 33-minute film by Scottish artist Charlotte Prodger won the 2018 Turner Prize in Britain. Since its establishment in 1984, the £25,000 ($31,700) prize has been given to British visual artists in an annual event. The jury at this year’s award reception held on Tuesday at the Tate Museum in London was really impressed by the short film which Prodger made completely on an iPhone.

Talking to The Guardian about the win, Tate Britain director, and judge, Alex Farquharson said that Prodger’s film was the “most profound use of a device as prosaic as the iPhone camera that we’ve seen in art to date.”

She won the prize for two of her iPhone-shot films titled BRIDGIT and Stoneymollan Trail. The films comprise several short video clips by the Glasgow-based artist showing a cat playing with a lamp, the Scottish countryside filmed from the window of a moving train, a T-shirt drying on a radiator, and cargo ships from a boat.

Charlotte Prodger, BRIDGIT, 2016 – excerpt from Film London on Vimeo.

Short iPhone Film: A Milestone in the Democratization of Photography and Filmmaking

The 44-year-old artist told The Guardian that she used an iPhone to make the film because it is easy to use and portable enough to be carried while going about the world. She said she’s very excited and feels deeply honored and really blown away by the award.

When asked why she chose to use an iPhone for the film, Prodger said she regularly uses the iPhone so that it now feels like an extension of herself which lead to her decision to use it to create the film. She views the iPhone as an extension of an artist’s self because it is easy to use, versatile and comes in handy when performing various activities.

Prodger accepting her Turner Prize with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Tate director Maria Balshaw  | Source: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Apple Congratulates the Winner

Joining the celebration is Apple’s CEO Tim Cook who quickly expressed his excitement at Prodger’s win as well as her use of his company’s device to shoot the film. He referred to it as a milestone in the push for a democratized filmmaking and photography industry. In his tweet congratulating the Turner prize winner, he acknowledged that this is a first for a film shot on an iPhone.

This year’s award is not that a surprise as the coveted Turner Prize has been pushing the boundaries of its controversial interpretation of “art.” The works of the top four finalists hint at some of the hot political debates. Even the winner is an openly gay artist who was celebrating queer lives in her short iPhone film.

According to The Observer newspaper, this year’s event was “shattering, absorbing, beguiling, highly political, [and] frequently momentous”. Also, the Sunday Times writing about the event said, “From beginning to end, this soul-crusher of a show is unusually awful.”

Exhibition of the various visual artworks continues till January 6 – including those by Charlotte Prodger.

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