Jeremy Deller’s way of working as artist, orchestrator, filmmaker, curator and cultural archivist is both highly influential and often collaborative. People often take centre stage in Deller’s practice and, over the last two decades, the Turner Prize-winning artist has collaborated with groups as diverse as former miners, bat behavioural experts, Depeche Mode fans and numerous musicians. Deller has an infectious interest in the creativity of others, overturning cultural hierarchies and staging opportunities for interaction with characteristic wit and clarity.
The British Council has commissioned artists to represent Britainat the Venice Biennale, celebrating the best of British art since 1938 and Deller is the 19th artist to be selected for a solo presentation. The British Council’s commission follows on from two key projects last year: Deller’s mid-career retrospective, Joy In People, which opened at the Hayward and is currently touring the US, and Sacrilege (2012), his life-size inflatable version of Stonehenge which toured around the UK during the summer.
“Wry, and very light on his feet, Deller has a great ability to draw together all sorts of people and communities and orchestrate them into unexpected patterns. He’s a sort of pied piper of popular culture.”Andrea Rose, Commissioner, British Pavilion.
Biography and selected exhibitions
Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, London; lives London) studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute and at SussexUniversity. After meeting Andy Warhol in 1986 he spent two weeks at the Factory in New York. He began making artworks in the early 1990s, often showing them outside of conventional galleries. In 1993, while his parents were on holiday, he secretly used the family home for an exhibition titled Open Bedroom.
Four years later he produced the musical performance Acid Brass with the Williams-Fairey Band, and began making art in collaboration with other people. Deller staged The Battle of Orgreave in 2001, commissioned by Artangel and Channel 4, directed by Mike Figgis, a re-enactment which brought together around 1000 veteran miners and members of historical societies to restage the 1984 clash between miners and police at Orgreave, Yorkshire. In 2004, Deller won the Turner Prize for Memory Bucket (2003), a documentary about Texas.
He has since made a number of documentaries on subjects ranging from exotic wrestler Adrian Street to die-hard international fans of the band Depeche Mode.
In 2009 Deller undertook a road trip across the US from New York to Los Angeles along with an Iraqi citizen and a US war veteran, towing a car destroyed in a bomb attack in Baghdad. The project, It Is What It Is, was presented at the New Museum, New York; the car is now part of the Imperial War Museum’s Collection. In the same year he staged Procession, inManchester, involving participants, commissioned floats, choreographed music and performances creating an odd and celebratory spectacle.
Deller has exhibited widely internationally and selected monographic exhibitions include: Unconvention (1999, Centre for Visual Arts, Cardiff), After the Goldrush (2002, Wattis Institute, San Francisco), Folk Archive with Alan Kane (2004, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Barbican Art Gallery, London), Jeremy Deller (2005, Kunstverein, Munich), From One Revolution to Another (2008, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq (2009, New Museum, NY, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), Processions (2009, Cornerhouse, Manchester) and Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery which is currently touring in the US. www.jeremydeller.org
Jeremy Deller is represented in the UK by The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Art: Concept,Parisand internationally by Gavin Brown’s enterprise,New York.