SELDOM has Hull’s Ferens gallery been the scene of such frenetic activity. It is playing host to the Turner Prize, Britain’s most prestigious—and often controversial—visual arts award; the four short-listed artists’ works have to be ready for public display by September 26th. Since its beginnings at the Tate Britain in 1984, this is only the fifth time that the annual prize has been held outside London, and the very first time that it has been hosted by any other established gallery with a permanent collection. It’s another “first” for Hull, to add to a growing list of eye-catching achievements in its year as Britain’s City of Culture.
Awarded every four years to a city that can “use culture as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration”, to quote the official rubric, Hull has followed Derry-Londonderry—and, before that, post-industrial Glasgow and Liverpool, both European Capitals of Culture—in its attempt to revive an ailing economy. The results
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