‘untitled’ composed of an atomised passenger aircraft engine by roger hiorns – image: toby melville

the the 2009 turner prize exhibition opened at the tate britain today. among the works on show are part of a sperm whale skeleton and a piece that uses bovine brain matter.

the annual competition of contemporary art that regularly triggers debate about what is art and what is not. the turner prize dates back to 1984 and has been won by the likes of gilbert & george, richard long, anish kapoor and damien hirst.

this year’s shortlisted artists are enrico david, roger hiorns, lucy skaer and richard wright.

whale skeleton vs cow brain at turner prize untitled wall sculpture made from bovine brain matter and steel by roger hiorns – image: heathcliff o’malley / telegraph

richard hiorns has covered half of a gallery floor with the black and grey metal dust of an atomised passenger aircraft engine, in a work designed to question our faith in technology and remind us of our own mortality. further works of his, which hang on the walls contain cows’ brains.

whale skeleton vs cow brain at turner prize ‘leviathan edge’ by lucy skaer – image: oli scarff/getty images

lucy skaer’s works include tall, black, skittle-like sculptures made with coal dust and arranged in rows and in a pile on the floor. ‘leviathan edge’ is a partial skeleton of a male sperm whale visible through narrow slits in the wall.

whale skeleton vs cow brain at turner prize ‘papier mache eggman’ by enrico david, 2009 from the installation ‘how do you love dzzzzt by mammy? image courtesy galerie daniel buchholz, köln/berlin

enrico david presents ‘absuction cardigan’ a collage of sculptures, paintings and papier-mache ‘eggmen’ described by the tate as a ‘parade of unruly characters’ that represent the artist himself.

whale skeleton vs cow brain at turner prize gold leaf painting by richard wright – image: heathcliff o’malley / telegraphrichard wright has adorned the far wall of a room with symmetrical, intricate gold-leaf patterns.

the winner of the prize, who picks up a cheque for £25,000 GBP, will be announced on december 7. hiorns is the bookmakers’ early favourite to triumph, while wright is the 10/1 outsider.

source: reuters