Forensic Architecture, an independent research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2018.
The agency was shortlisted for its participation in documenta 14 and their solo exhibitions Counter Investigations: Forensic Architecture at the ICA in London, Forensic Architecture: Towards an Investigative Aesthetics at MACBA Barcelona and Forensic Architecture: Towards an Investigative Aesthetics at MUAC Mexico. The jury praised Forensic Architecture for developing highly innovative methods for sourcing and visualising evidence relating to human rights abuses around the world, used in courts of law as well as exhibitions of art and architecture.
It is thought to be the first time a university-based research group has been nominated for the prize.
An exhibition of work by the shortlisted artists will be staged at Tate Britain from 25 September 2018 to 6 January 2019. The winner will be announced in December at an awards ceremony broadcast live on the BBC.
Patrick Loughrey, Warden of Goldsmiths said: “This shortlisting is richly deserved and recognises both the quality and impact of the innovative work undertaken by Forensic Architecture. The group addresses real-world issues without fear or favour, turning a critical eye on some of the biggest challenges society faces. We are proud that they call Goldsmiths home and wish them luck as the College’s close relationship with the Turner Prize continues.”
Stefán Kalmar, Director of the ICA, said: “The ICA applauds the courageous decision of the Turner Prize jury to nominate Forensic Architecture for this year’s award. As a collective, Forensic Architecture’s practice combines aspects of journalism, architecture, animation, documentary filmmaking and human rights activism into an entirely new format which, for us, is simply the most innovative practice coming out of London and the UK in years. Like the Independent Group which was based, on and off, at the ICA throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, Forensic Architecture investigates the contemporary image economy and ideology. Their methodology radically expands the field of contemporary art.”
Also shortlisted is Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger, who studied for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths 1997-2001, and whose work includes Bridgit, filmed entirely on her iPhone, "which she approaches as a prosthesis or extension of the nervous system ... Body and device become extensions of each other".
Seven Goldsmiths graduates or staff have gone on to win the coveted award including Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and most recently, Laure Prouvost in 2013.
Forensic Architecture is based in the Department of Visual Cultures. From this September Goldsmiths will be offering two optional modules engaging with the work of Forensic Architecture and the Centre for Research Architecture more broadly. These are open to final year students studying in all BA programmes across college, with 10 places ring-fenced for Visual Cultures students.