Jeremy Deller

Another Time, Another Place


Not on display

Jeremy Deller born 1966
Vinyl and vinyl record in sleeve
Displayed: 3740 × 4700 mm
Presented by the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow in honour of Sir Nicholas Serota 2018


Another Time, Another Place 2013 is a wall-based work that depicts a family tree. It is composed of the names of sixty-seven people born in Britain between 1809 and 1945 with, in most cases, the date and place of their birth and their occupation. The names, written in black vinyl letters adhered to the wall, are grouped and linked by black lines to reveal the relationships and descendants. The work traces back the family tree of British pop singer Bryan Ferry, up to five generations before his birth, and extends from the left-hand side with the oldest ancestors to the right-hand side with Bryan Ferry’s name, date and place of birth – 1945, Washington – and occupation – singer. On the right-hand side of the singer’s name, the original record sleeve of his second solo album ‘Another Time Another Place’ (1974) is mounted on the wall. The sleeve contains the original vinyl record, which remains unseen to the viewer. Deller’s title is taken directly from Ferry’s, which appears in white letters on the album sleeve. The dimensions of the work are variable, but a minimum wall height of 4.25 metres is required if the scale is to remain as originally installed, at approximately 3.75 metres by 4.70 metres.

Deller created the work in 2013 as a site-specific piece for his Hayward Touring exhibition All That Is Solid Melts into Air, which was first shown at Manchester Art Gallery in 2013; the work was then recreated in each of the touring venues, at Nottingham Castle Museum, Mead Gallery in Coventry and Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle (all in 2014). Deller focused his exhibition around the Industrial Revolution and its impact on recent and present British history and society, bringing together prints, photographs, etchings, drawings, posters, objects, ephemera and works by artists from the early nineteenth century to the twenty-first century, alongside works of his own from 2008 to 2013. He created two other wall-based family tree works, also displayed in the touring exhibitions and related to other British singers: Hallelujha! Shaun Ryder’s Family Tree 2008 and Take Me Back Home: Noddy Holder’s Family Tree 2013, which respectively trace the genealogy of the Happy Mondays and Slade lead singers.

The photograph of Bryan Ferry which features on the record cover was taken by Eric Boman and portrays the singer posing by a home swimming pool, wearing a cream tuxedo jacket and white shirt with a black bow tie, a half-smoked cigarette in his left hand. His ‘sophisticated “high” society’ pose, as described by historian Michael Bracewell (Bracewell 2007, p.266), contrasts with the working-class background revealed by his family tree. Male members of his family since the early nineteenth century have been bakers, pitmen and coal miners, colliery labourers, blacksmiths, farmers, dairy farmers and the like. More than presenting a single family tree, Another Time, Another Place describes a social history and, by extension, a wider history of Britain and the world. Up until Bryan Ferry’s mother, who was a teacher, all the women’s occupations are described in relation to their husbands’: they are blacksmiths’ wives, coal miners’ wives, farmers’ wives or housewives. Two women in the family, Olive Mary Moon, born in 1806, and Alice Alderson, born in 1842, are soldiers’ wives; while Anabella Eveline Ferry (Ilsley), Bryan Ferry’s paternal grandmother, was born in Madras, India in 1869, as well as her brother Frederick Charles Ilsley, born in Bellary in 1871, while their elder brother Thomas Walton Ilsley was born in Sunderland. At the end of the lineage, Bryan Ferry’s album title ‘Another Time, Another Place’ resonates with this history, conveying the idea that an individual is the product of many times and places, as well as interrogating the exceptionality of some individuals who stand out to become iconic figures of one particular time and place. Speaking about his love of pop music and the inclusion in his work of figures such as Shaun Ryder, Morrissey or Neil Young, Deller has explained:

I’m a fan of these people, for different reasons, and in my work I was trying to articulate something about the nature of the relationships between a performer and their audiences, whilst simultaneously trying to work out what it is exactly about them that I found so compelling … [They] have all made a huge contribution to twentieth-century culture and, for me, these are among the most important cultural references we have, in terms of how we define ourselves. They are among the defining characters of our time.
(Jeremy Deller, in conversation with Matthew Higgs, in Hayward Gallery 2012, p.188.)

Since the first exhibition he organised in his parents’ London house in 1993, Deller has been, in the words of curator Ralph Rugoff, ‘making unexpected connections between varied areas of culture and history’ to reveal the intrinsic ‘social character of pop music … a subject that he has returned to and re-explored in a number of different works over the course of his career’ (Ralph Rugoff, in ibid., p.9). Previous works like Acid Brass 1997 or The History of the World 1997–2004 (Tate T12868) also intertwine music and social histories, de-industrialisation and trade unionism. Rugoff has described Deller’s ‘use of a framing device from the world of pop music’ as ‘provocatively suggesting that we re-orient our perspective by learning to look at one kind of “culture” through the lens of another … interpreting the world around us as if everything was potentially connected to everything else.’ (Ibid. p.16.) Another Place, Another Time highlights the inheritance and lineage of the past through the present, the social and human conditions of the emergence of popular culture and the course of history through a time-line that can be read both forwards – from 1809 – and backwards – from 1974.

Further reading
Michael Bracewell, Re-make/Re-model, London 2007.
Ralph Rugoff, ‘Middle Class Hero’, in Joy in People, exhibition catalogue, Hayward Gallery, London 2012.
All That Is Solid Melts into Air, exhibition catalogue, Hayward touring exhibition, London and Manchester Art Gallery 2013.

Elsa Coustou
November 2017

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Display caption

Deller’s work explores the industrial and social history of Britain, particularly through the lens of popular culture. His family trees make connections that link us all. He says: ‘Most show the same sort of thing. These jobs tell our history.’ Even pop singer Bryan Ferry, shown here in a sophisticated pose on the cover of his 1974 album Another Time Another Place, has ancestors who were labourers, colliery workers and farm servants. Deller is interested in how some individuals, such as Bryan Ferry, can transcend class and become important cultural figures, affecting how British people define themselves as a nation.

Gallery label, September 2018

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