An Inclusive Litany

12/11/01

London's Tate Gallery awarded this year's prestigious Turner art prize to 33-year-old Martin Creed for an installation consisting of an empty room with lights that turn on and off every five seconds. In a joint statement, the prize judges said: "The lights going on and off add qualities of strength, rigor, wit and sensitivity to the site." Simon Wilson, the gallery's communications curator, called the piece "pure and spiritual," adding that Creed "is a very pure extreme kind of artist. The fact that many people find his work so baffling indicates that he's working on the edge."

Asked why the lights flicker, Creed explained: "It activates the whole of the space it occupies without anything physically being added and I like that because in a way it's a really big work with nothing being there... It's like, if I can't decide whether to have the lights on or off, then I have them both on and off and I feel better about it."

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