Antiwar Work Wins Britain's Top Art Prize

Mark Wallinger receives award for Iraq war protest replica
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 7:31 AM CST
A detail from Mark Wallinger's State Britain.   ((c) fotologic)
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(Newser) – The Turner Prize, Britain's highest award for contemporary art, has gone to Mark Wallinger for his painstaking recreation of a dismantled "peace camp" protesting the Iraq war. Wallinger brought hundreds of antiwar placards and photographs into the classical galleries of Tate Britain in a work that the judges called "visceral and historically important," reports the Independent.

The work, called State Britain, began in 2005 when the UK passed a law banning protests within a one-kilometer radius of parliament. That law forced veteran protester Brian Haw to pack up—but the exclusion zone happened to include the galleries of the Tate. In accepting his prize in Liverpool last night, Wallinger blasted "the folly and hubris of our government" and called for British troops to be brought home.