A brief introduction to one of the nominees for the 2012 Turner Prize

  • Luke Fowler All Divided Selves, 2011

    Luke Fowler, All Divided Selves 2011 

    Courtesy of the artist, The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
    Photo
    © John Haynes

Nominated for
His solo exhibition at Inverleith House, Edinburgh.

Who he is
Glasgow-based Fowler has had a retrospective at the Serpentine gallery, and won the inaugural Derek Jarman award for artist film-makers. He makes densely woven collage-like documentary films, usually about prominent counter-cultural thinkers such as the psychiatrist RD Laing.

What they say
‘The experience of watching one of Fowler’s films is akin to the process of getting to know someone, with all its attendant paradoxes, hiatuses and leaps of faith.’
Ellen Mara De Wachter, Flash Art

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Comments

I was blown away by Luke Fowler's "All Divided Selves" and could have easily stayed where I was an watched it through for a second time. It raises so many questions - not just about Laing and the place of contemporary psychiatry/ psychotherapy (questions with which I am very familiar on a professional basis), but also about just what, in 2012/13, is contemporary art? An immediate reaction is to say that a 93 minute film does not belong in an art gallery, but if not a gallery setting then where? 93 mins is a respectable length for a feature film, but I feel quite strongly that this work does not belong in a cinema. I found the work immensely moving and felt that it interpreted Laing's work (which I know well) in a fresh and challenging way. I am fascinated that an artist who does not, as far as I know, have a medical or psychotherapeutic background is able to interpret this controversial maverick psychiatrist so well. I suppose one of the biggest questions that I am left with is how does work like this reach a wider audience? Obviously this film is getting a lot of exposure in Tate Britain, but there must be many lesser known film and video artists trying to find their audiences.