As the Turner Prize turns 30 years old, we look at the formula for controversy and what the work we hate says about our society.
The Turner Prize was set up in 1984, founded by a group called the Patrons of New Art. The Patrons of New Art themselves had been formed in 1982 to to encourage wider interest in contemporary art and assist the (then) Tate Gallery in acquiring new works.
It is a controversial event, mainly for the exhibits, such as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a shark in formaldehyde by Damien Hirst and My Bed, a dishevelled bed by Tracey Emin. Controversy has also come from other directions, including a Culture Minister (Kim Howells) criticising exhibits, a guest of honour (Madonna) swearing, a prize judge (Lynn Barber) writing in the press, and a speech by Sir Nicholas Serota (about the purchase of a trustee’s work).