The Turner Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for contemporary art, scrutinized since 1984 for a taste of “what’s to watch” in the art space. The prize comes with a £25,000 award for the winner, and serious media attention – past laureates include Damien Hirst, Steve McQueen and Grayson Perry. The spotlight this year is brought squarely upon social issues, with all four nominees presenting their unique take on history and self.

Forensic Architecture Forensic Architecture. Courtesy Forensic Architecture.

The first nominee is not an artist but an “independent research agency”, called Forensic Architecture. Established in 2010, it is a collective of scientists, filmmakers, artists, and allies who seek to provide evidence in human rights abuse cases. The collective’s 77sqm_9:26min project exhibited at Documenta 14 in Kassel this summer documented the racist murder of Turkish-born Halit Yozgat in Germany in 2006.

View from “Towards an Investigative Aesthetics” View from “Towards an Investigative Aesthetics”. Photo: La Fotogràfica. Courtesy Forensic Architecture.

Murder is also the topic of nominee Luke Willis Thompson’s video autoportrait. He films Diamond Reynolds, who sadly entered the public realm in 2016 for streaming the aftermath of the murder of her partner Philando Castile by the police in Minnesota.

Luke Willis Thompson Luke Willis Thompson. ARR.

Naeem Mohaiemen is nominated for his solo show at MoMA PS1 earlier this year and another Documenta project, Two Meetings and a Funeral. It is an experimental documentary exploring the birth and afterlife of the Non-Aligned Movement, a group of countries that refused to take sides during the cold war.

Naeem Mohaiemen Naeem Mohaiemen. ARR.

Finally, the most introspective project comes from Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger, who used her phone to film a diary interlaid with voice-over from science fiction writer Samuel R. Delany and the singer Nina Simone.

Charlotte Prodger Charlotte Prodger. ARR.

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