Essential Reading : Jeremy Deller

Thu 23 May

An artist whose work tells it straight and connects to deep cultural forces, the legendary Jeremy Deller is coming to town.

He once recreated a miner’s strike battle between police and demonstrators. He melted down full-sized wax effigies of Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch after the Black Summer fires. He won the 2004 Turner Prize for a video study of Texas during the Bush Years. He was basically kidnapped by Russian Depeche Mode fans while studying their obsession. He's the one Rod Stewart trusts to direct his latest music video. Jeremy Deller is an artist for the people who delights in the power of pop culture, and we’re bringing him over for RISING. Here are a few choice primers to get you ready.

A brush with... Jeremy Deller

Acid Brass

Deller is bringing his iconic work Acid Brass to RISING. Back in 1996, he sketched a mind map. At one end he circled the words ‘ACID HOUSE’. At the other, ‘BRASS BANDS’. A sprawl of arrows connected the two music styles with words like, ‘melancholy’, ‘Chicago’, ‘808’, ‘drum’n’bass’, ‘warehouse parties’. It was an attempt to explain 20th Century British history through the alchemical power of music. In this video he joins an A-level politics class to talk about what acid house meant. From kids’ perspective it’s already ancient history. But Deller’s conversational teaching style and the way he ties rave culture to bigger ideas around controlling the means of production are great examples of his ability to make connections.

Look out for 'Bless this Acid House' t-shirts in our merch shop too.

Everybody In The Place

These two videos show what happened when the mind map materialised. A segment on BBC’s Culture Show that looks back on the project. And footage of a traditional brass band taking on the KLF’s acid house classic ‘What Time is Love’.

Acid Brass 'What Time Is Love?'

Acid Brass on The Culture Show

24 Hour Rock Show

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)

Get down at midday for Deller’s key note speech, before he cuts the proverbial ribbon on this 24-hour long music documentary marathon. These films have been chosen because they’re missives from the moment that cling to their subject matter like stale jeans. Go knee deep into storied festivals Watts Summer Festival from 1972. See Johnny Cash at San Quentin, Grace Jones on tour in ’82, follow No Fixed Address, ONEFOUR and lots, lots more.

Saturday 8 June to Sun 9 June, midday to midday.

Check out the full list of films here and listen to our 24 Hour Rock Show-inspired playlist in the meantime.

Day Tripper—RISING's mammoth day party starts at midday too.

In the future, everyone will be cancelled for 15 minutes

Jeremy Deller 'Warning Graphic Content', The modern Institute, 2021

Jeremy Deller 'Warning Graphic Content', The modern Institute, 2021

Jeremy Deller 'Warning Graphic Content', The modern Institute, 2021

Jeremy Deller 'Warning Graphic Content', The modern Institute, 2021

Check out the Night Trade festival hub at The Capitol Arcade where Deller is turning a laneway shop into a free exhibition for goths and ravers. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s famous (mis)quote, he’s calling it In the future, everyone will be cancelled for 15 minutes. Expect a video grotto, spinning druids and other visual art, with help from typography and graphic design experimenter Fraser Muggeridge.

'In the future, everyone will be cancelled for 15 minutes' BY Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge

'In the future, everyone will be cancelled for 15 minutes' BY Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge

Jeremy Deller 'Warning Graphic Content', The modern Institute, 2021

Jeremy Deller 'Warning Graphic Content', The modern Institute, 2021

Deller and Muggeridge books and merch

The pair have also designed posters that'll be on sale in the merch shop. Back in 2020 they printed ‘Thank God For Immigrants’ which raised around £50,000 for charities Refugee Action and The Trussell Trust. It was partly inspired by Deller’s film, Putin’s Happy, made while he was hanging around with people with anti-immigrant views who’s lives, because of Covid, ended up possibly being saved by immigrant healthcare staff.

'Lost Children' by Jeremy Deller was commissioned by Book Works for What did you do… (2024), a poster project to mark 40 years of commissions and book making, made in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. For the project they invited artists to contribute work that speaks to ideas of solidarity with the oppressed, and liberation for the occupied. Then they donated proceeds to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

They'll also be slinging In the future, everyone will be cancelled in 15 minutes prints.

Art is Magic is Deller's big hardback book that collects his works will also be on sale. As he puts it, “Art is Magic is by far my best book. It brings together many projects and art works from the last 30 years or so. It will bring you good luck and help you do sex better.”

Jeremy Deller in Art is Magic
“Art is way of staying in love with the world. It is also a form of magic. A cover version of reality, it can trick us and is profoundly absurd, if not stupid."

Digging with Flo

Digging with Flo is an NTS podcast where beloved breakfast show host Flo Dill invites guests to chat while they carry out a gardening task. Listen for Deller's insights into the power of music and jumble sales, while they plant some rhubarb.

What Is British Identity?

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