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“Dedicated to the support of developing artists, Beck’s Futures has established itself as one of the country’s premier art prizes” Independent

Beck’s Bier and the ICA have pleasure in confirming the shortlisted artists for BECK’S FUTURES, the UK’s he UK’s most generous art award, worth £65,000, opens at the ICA, in London on 5 April until 18 May, 2003. The exhibition then travels to Glasgow and to Southampton.

The shortlist for BECK’S FUTURES 2003 includes an artist who has turned up at job interviews as part of his practice, a collective whose recent exhibition urged visitors to evacuate London, a sculptor who has created a vibrating mummy, and a filmmaker, one of whose works was shot at a Salvation Army jumble sale. The selection includes three video artists, one filmmaker, a collective who describe their work as ‘fierce sociology’, one digital artist, a sculptor, and two artists who make video and photographic work out of public interventions. Four artists live in Glasgow, and one in Manchester, with the remainder based in London.

The shortlisted artists are:
Bernd Behr, Inventory, Lucy Skaer, Nick Crowe, Rosalind Nashashibi, Francis Upritchard,Alan Currall, David Sherry and Carey Young.

The judges are an international panel, ensuring a degree of objectivity about the UK art world and its relationship to international practice, and as recognition of Beck’s Futures increasing profile beyond the UK. As always, Beck’s Futures has included an artist among the judges. We are delighted that MICHAEL LANDY whose most recent show was Breakdown, agreed to be the panel’s chair. The panel also included the acclaimed curators RUSSELL FERGUSON, MARIA LIND and HANS ULRICH OBRIST.

Michael Landy, Chair of the Judges: “You’ll walk into Beck’s Futures sad, we’ll send you out smiling, knock kneed and knackered with bargains. Yes, we’re mad, no we’re not joking.”

Russell Ferguson, Beck’s Futures judge: “The jury discussions were animated, but the final list was arrived at with a high level of agreement. The artists selected have all succeeded in establishing their own distinctive vocabularies within which to operate. The chosen artists' work is both challenging and idiosyncratic.”

Philip Dodd, Director of the ICA: "This is a very feisty list of artists, unashamed to engage, in a variety of complex ways, with the worlds of corporations and of international conflict; the world of the streets and of reality TV.”

Andy Neal, Brand Director Beck's (UK):"This will be the 18th year of Beck’s Bier’s support for contemporary art in Britain. We are delighted that this support is continuing with Beck’s Futures 2003. With the talented artists on this year’s shortlist it promises to be an exciting and challenging show”.

The winner of BECK’S FUTURES 2003, will be announced at the final awards night in late April. The short-listed artists will share £40,000 worth of awards, whilst the overall winner will be given an additional £20,000. The BECK’S FUTURES STUDENT PRIZE FOR FILM AND VIDEO will be held alongside the main award, at which the winner and runners up will be presented with prize monies worth £5,000.

BECK’S FUTURES 2003, will tour around the UK, including CCA, Glasgow, and Southampton City Art Gallery, after it leaves the ICA.


Born 1976, Hamburg. Based in London.
BA Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London.
Gallery: not represented.
Bernd Behr is interested in the relationship between architecture and human activity. For instance, his DVD, Theatre du Vide, is a continuous loop of a man climbing onto a tall gate post, having approached from three different routes; it was filmed at the original location of Yves Klein’s Leap Into the Void (1960). Other works includes Fountain, found video footage edited to show a spray of motocross bikes flying over a ramp, and Ectoplasmic, a film of debris falling down the side of a block of flats. His recent exhibitions include: Cargo Fever, Fordham Gallery, London; Transit, The Substation, Singapore, and a group show with Mike Nelson, Paul Noble, Georgina Starr called We Want Out, at Citylights Gallery, Melbourne.

NICK CROWE – Digital
Born 1968, Barnsley. Based in Manchester.
BA English literature and drama, Hull University.
Gallery: Mobile Home.
Taking a reflective look at the construction of identity through personal, cultural and technological evolutions, Nick Crowe produces web software and internet sites parodying online communities and the iconography and of personal homepages. Resultant works include SERVICE2000, for which he purchased domain names, created home pages, and effectively ‘cybersquatted’ 29 leading London art institutions and galleries. Visitors to SERVICE2000 can tour various home pages, including Tate Modern, The Hayward, Serpentine and the resplendent dancing girls at Sadie Coles HQ. Recent exhibitions include Nasdaq Landscape, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Kyoto Protocol, Flux Space. In 2003 Crowe will show Getting On at the Chisenhale Gallery, London, and The Nineties at Mobile Home Gallery, London.

Born 1964, England. Based in Glasgow.
M.A., Glasgow School of Art.
Gallery: not represented.
Playing with the current British enthusiasm for ‘reality TV’, Alan Currall produces mediates ‘truth’ through social experiments and observations, recorded on video using hand-operated techniques, that intensify a sense of the intimacy with the artist, in an often childish and comic way. In Message to My Best Friend, Currall pours his heart out on camera to a supposed friend, eulogising, without a trace of irony: ‘You’re just so compassionate and sensitive… You’ve got a great record collection. The way you dress is cool but funky. …You even smell good. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with anyone else.’ Recent exhibitions include Encyclopedia, which was shown at the Jerwood Space, London, and toured the UK. In 2003, Currall shows in Near Life Experience, Anthony Wilkinson Gallery, London.

INVENTORY – Multidisciplinary collective
Based in London.
Gallery: The Approach.
Inventory was founded in 1995 as a collective enterprise of artists, writers and theorists who use these disciplines to interrogate the realities of contemporary urban life. Describing their practice as ‘fierce sociology’, Inventory operate on a number of different fronts, including a regularly published journal, events, lectures, exhibitions and intervention strategies, of which Coagulum (Oxford Street), 2001, is an example. Huddled together in a tight scrum, they formed a human clot, disrupting the flow of pedestrian traffic on Oxford Street, before entering a shopping centre. Here the collaborators jiggled to piped Dixieland music whilst a security guard tried to push them back out onto Oxford Street. Recent exhibitions include Requiem For The Empty Quarter shown at The Approach, London, which urged visitors to evacuate London.

Born 1973, Croydon. Based in Glasgow.
M.A., Glasgow School of Art.
Gallery: not represented.
Rosalind Nashashibi works with 16mm film shooting quiet vignettes of small-town life. Midwest and Midwest: Field were both made during a residency in Omaha, Nebraska, USA employing a technique more observational than intrusive. The first follows a group of men from the city’s ethnic population, walking around town and settling in a café, while the other shows a group of model aeroplane enthusiasts flying planes in a field on a summer’s day. Dahiet a Bareed, District of the Post Office was filmed in what is technically the West Bank, a urban neighbourhood designed and built by Nashashibi’s grandfather in 1956, which sits outside a checkpoint now dividing it from Jerusalem. The film observes local young men playing football, having a trim at the barber, and a boy idly setting fire to a heap of rubbish amongst the tumbledown, arid landscape, whilst a minaret issues a call to prayer. In The State of Things, an earlier work shot on black and white film, elderly ladies rummage through jumble at a sale held at the Salvation Army in Glasgow; the soundtrack, an old Egyptian love song by Um Kolsoum lends both nostalgia and ambiguity to the work. Nashashibi’s work will be shown at the Fruitmarket Gallery in 2003.

DAVID SHERRY – Performance
Born 1974, Northern Ireland. Based in Glasgow.
M.A., Glasgow School of Art.
Gallery: not represented.
There’s not much that can prepare you for watching David Sherry’s Stitching, a video of the artist sewing pieces of wood on to the soles of his feet. This apparent act of self-barbarity, fused with the armchair familiarity of daytime TV, is offered up in bite-size handy step-by-step tips: ‘One you start, keep your momentum going… this right foot is about done. I’ve been using some TCP’. Sherry’s work revolves around themes of human relations and the failure of social convention. By applying ‘mild altercations’ in his own life, Sherry says he is on a crusade to produce artworks that ‘expose the systematic processes of day to day life’. Other works go under the self-explanatory titles Carrying a bucket of water about for a week, and Avoiding eye contact for one seven day period. New projects include Serial Psycho Interviewee, for which Sherry attended job interviews as art. Recent exhibitions include The Glasgow Art Fair, represented by Tramway, Thoughts of the Unknown, Transmission, Glasgow.

LUCY SKAER – Public interventions
Born 1975, Cambridge. Based in Glasgow.
M.A., Glasgow School of Art.
Gallery: not represented.
Lucy Skaer’s works borrow from existing structures; science, maths, religious symbolism, museum artefacts, photojournalism, and the public space, seeking to make intersections between these areas. Her work utilises a range of interventionist strategies. In Glasgow one work involved the ceremonial laying of an artist-made paving stone on Buchanan Street by the Earl of Glasgow, replacing a slab that Skaer had removed hours earlier. In a more recent Public Project in 2001, Skaer left a diamond and a scorpion side by side on an Amsterdam pavement. In addition to this area of her practice, Lucy has exhibited drawings which use Venn diagram-like structures, and is also member of the collaborative artists’ group Henry VIII’s Wives. Her solo exhibitions include Like A Circle in a Spiral, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, and she has forthcoming show at the Kaganmartos Gallery, New York.

Born 1976, New Zealand. Based in London.
Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, New Zealand.
Gallery: Kate MacGarry, London.
Combining craft and craftiness, for Beck’s Futures, Francis Upritchard submitted a pygmy sized mummy, called Save Yourself that comes to life with moans and vibrations, and stares at the observer with a single glass, glaucous eye between the bandages. Running off a 240v power supply, the mummy lies on the floor, surrounded by 20 canopic urns, including a monkey and dog, in a setting much like an ancient burial ground.
Recent exhibitions include Another Shitty Day In Paradise, Bart Wells Institute, London, The Bart Wells Gang, 3 Silesia Buildings, London and Teeth & Trousers, Cell Project Space, London.

CAREY YOUNG – Interdisciplinary
Born 1970, Zambia. Based in London.
M.A. Photography, Royal College of Art, London.
Gallery: not represented.

Carey Young’s work utilises corporate tools and strategies in order to investigate the collapsing categories between business and art. Carey herself has worked in business for a number of years and draws on these
experiences directly within her works. She uses media such as video, performance, and photography, as well as found objects taken from business environments. For example, the video I am a Revolutionary features a corporate trainer coaching Carey through the delivery of the simple phrase I am a revolutionary. Repeating the words again and again in a series of fruitless attempts to sound credible, Young tries valiantly to internalise the message so that it becomes something she personally believes in. Referring to the legacy of the artistic avant-garde as much as the terminology of recent anti-capitalist sentiment, the work seems to balance in a tragic-comic continuum between futility and hope.
Recent exhibitions include Nothing Ventured, fig-1, London, and The Passions of the Good Citizen, Apex Art, New York. She will exhibit at Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, in 2004.

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