Photographers boycott Turner prize over bad news ban

Photographers have boycotted the Turner Prize exhibition in London after being asked to sign a form which said journalists could not publish any images or words which would “result in any adverse publicity” for the Tate.

Richard Pohle, from The Times, said he had refused to photograph the launch.

He said: “We are not prepared to sign a contract that leaves us open to being sued by the Tate if our pictures are used next to an article that criticises the gallery.”

The form also demands that the gallery is allowed to “copy, reproduce, record, store and disseminate” the photographers’ work without paying royalties.

Among the photographers boycotting the event are staff working for the Evening Standard, Reuters and the Press Association.

Despite the photographers’ protest, some camera crews and critics who were not asked to sign the form attended the launch.

A Tate spokeswoman later said photographers would be allowed into the launch without signing the controversial form, which would now be reviewed.

Today’s row, which led to photographers refusing to enter the gallery, recalls the problems faced by Southampton Football Club when it tried to control access to its games for photographers.

The club used its own photographer as the sole source of images for its home games, prompting one newspaper to publish cartoons of the action to get round the ban.

Artists in the running for this year’s £25,000 Turner Prize are Dexter Dalwood, Angela de la Cruz, Susan Philipsz and The Otolith Group. The other shortlisted artists will each receive £5,000.

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