Something new in art awards: There are no losers. No second place, runner-up or honorable mention, either. Everyone wins. That's the word from this year's Turner Prize - England's yearly award of $40,000 traditionally conferred upon a single British visual artist since 1984 - in honor of the country's favorite son, painter J.M. W. Turner.

Losing is not an option

What's more, the no-loser idea came from the competing artists themselves - four finalists in all - who asked the judges if they could share the prize.

Is this a good thing? The Guardian art critic Adrian Searle thinks it is: "Good for them," he said, praising their magnanimity. "Subverting the Turner Prize is what artists are meant to do."

Everybody wins

Certainly, the no-loser idea has merit. Pitting one artist against another often amounts to comparing work as different as chalk from cheese. Another artist back in 2016 made a similar gesture. That's when sculptor Helen Marten chose to share her Turner Prize, as well as the Hepworth Prize with other finalists.

Share and share alike

In merry old England where tradition reigns and where the Turner Prize has been about winning for more than three decades, not having a single winner is huge news. But the winners this year don't talk about art awards the way art critics like Searle does. Their solidarity has nothing to with competing in and of itself. As Yahoo's reports, it's all about the "political crisis in Britain;

Sign of the times

The plea for togetherness made to the Turner Prize judges from the four finalists - Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cannock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani - was cited in The Telegraph this way:

“At this time of political crisis in Britain and much of the world, when there is already so much that divides and isolates people and communities, we feel strongly motivated to use the occasion of the Prize to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity, and solidarity - in art as in society.” Their calls for amity is in the air, it seems.

In October even the jurors for the Booker Prize, a literary award for fiction - opted to bestow a joint prize on both Bernardine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood. CNN noted this same aversion to winning last January when Glenn Close split the Critic's Choice award for Best Actress with Lady Gaga.

Moral of the story

But CNN also reported the downside of making everyone a winner. "According to some corners of the internet, if you're not furiously angry at the Turner Prize's decision, you may well be a snowflake." The Daily Mail likewise cited negative reaction, quoting a tweet that said the Turner Award had become just "a bunch of millennial artists asking for a participation trophy." With angry reactions like that, it looks like the case for togetherness that the Turner Prize finalists make is made.

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