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1995

Brian Eno’s 1995 Opening Speech for the Turner Prize

by Paddy Johnson on March 15, 2012
Thumbnail image for Brian Eno’s 1995 Opening Speech for the Turner Prize

Back in 1995, Brian Eno’s opening speech at Turner Prize award ceremony caused all kinds of clamor. The speech lampooned the arts community for its lack of intellectual rigor, comparing the openness and public knowledge of scientific debates with the often-impenetrable discourse around art.

Eno, in his diary, recounts that at the ceremony, “various people looked at me like I was Satan, or with obvious pity.” The next day, he notes that he was stopped in the street and congratulated. When read today, however, the words sound as fresh and exciting as ever, and demand everything I often feel the fine art world lacks. As such, I’m reproducing the text in its entirety for readers below.

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