Ruskin Student Enters BB House

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Oxford student hopes to turn Big Brother stay into Turner prize art piece 
While most Oxford students are fretting about collections, 21-year old finalist Amy Jackson has an arguably more frightening experience before her. She is one of twelve housemates on “Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack.”
 Amy is currently being watched by millions of viewers as she and her fellow housemates complete a series of absurd tasks while under instruction from celebraties including Matt Lucas, Paula Abdul and Kelly Osbourne, who challenge the candidates to do whatever they are told through an earpiece.
 The format is a continuation of previous Big Brother series, only this time all candidates are aged 21 years or under and have been chosen for being especially gifted and ambitious. Amongst them are politicians, fashion designers, musicians, Olympians, entrepreneurs, and Amy – a conceptual artist and student of fine art at Oxford’s Ruskin School. Her talents and acheivements include having won the Geoffrey Rhodes Prize for the highest first-year exam results and playing several instruments.
When asked if she would like to apply for a place on Big Brother, Amy thought it would be “a bit of fun”, says her boyfriend Tom, also an Oxford student. “But then she got further and further in the process and was eventually asked to be a housemate,” he says. Tom says she went into the house as she saw it as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” that she could not turn down. And so, last Thursday, along with 3.2 million other viewers, Tom watched her move into the house to begin her Big Brother experience. “It is so strange watching her on television, especially to see her chatting away with the likes of Ian Wright,” he said.
No need for envy, though, because as every good Oxford student would, she has taken her work with her to the Big Brother house. Her current project is called “Clean Removal”, and involves taking items of household waste, cleaning them and mounting them under glass with the label ‘Removed for Cleaning.’ Not satisfied with waste alone, Amy considers Big Brother itself to be a piece of art. “Being in the house has a lot of scope for being an endurance art piece”, Amy recently told The Times. “Somebody’s experience in Big Brother could win the next Turner Prize.” She might have a real chance: Mark Wallinger, last year’s Turner Prizewinner, filmed himself walking in a gallery dressed in a bear outfit.
Michael Archer, Head of Oxford’s Ruskin School, reacted with mixed feelings to Amy’s Big Brother adventure. He said, “We acknowledge it as a perfectly legitimate way in which a contemporary artist might choose to practice.” He said that reality TV was one of many features of contemporary culture that made “new creative spaces available” and rendered Amy’s decision for Big Brother “understandable.”
And even if the reality show does not get Amy the world’s foremost art prize, if she manages to stay in the house the longest she might end up £50,000 richer. Nevertheless, even if she wins neither jackpot nor Turner Prize, plenty of fame and popularity is likely to come her way. Boyfriend Tom is already very proud. “I miss her but it’s great how well she’s coming across in the house.”

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