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US police shooting victim’s girlfriend features among works up for Turner Prize

Autoportrait, 2017, by Luke Willis Thompson, who is one of the artists shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize (Andy Keate)
Autoportrait, 2017, by Luke Willis Thompson, who is one of the artists shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize (Andy Keate)

The winner of this year’s Turner Prize will be announced later on Tuesday at the Tate Britain, with a 35mm silent portrait of the girlfriend of an American shooting victim among those in the running.

The £25,000 art prize is famous for catapulting works such as a huge sculpture of buttocks and an unmade bed into the spotlight.

This year’s shortlist is more overtly political, with the artists all tackling “pressing political and humanitarian issues of today”.

They include Luke Willis Thompson, who made a black and white, silent 35mm portrait of Diamond Reynolds.

Reynolds broadcast live, on Facebook, in 2016, the immediate aftermath of the fatal shooting of her boyfriend, Philando Castile, by a police officer during a traffic stop in the US.

Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger’s work includes Bridgit, filmed entirely on her iPhone.

Judges said she approaches the iPhone “as a prosthesis or extension of the nervous system … Body and device become extensions of each other”.

An academic group shortlisted, Forensic Architecture, is known for its “spatial investigations of state and corporate violations worldwide” and also uses mobile phone footage in much of its work.

The group includes architects, film-makers, software developers, investigative journalists, lawyers and scientists.

Naeem Mohaiemen whose work encompasses films, installations and essays, is also on the shortlist.

His films, installations and essays investigate a “sense of melancholia for lost political dreams”, memories of Leftist political utopias and “legacies of decolonisation”.

Last year, Lubaina Himid became the oldest artist to win the Turner Prize, at the age of 63, after it was opened up to older artists.

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