Jeremy Deller was born in London in 1966 and studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Collaboration and participation are central to Deller’s work.
Jeremy Deller’s work
As he explains, ‘A good collaboration is like going on a long journey without a map, never knowing quite where you will end up’. He acts as curator, producer or director of a broad range of projects, including orchestrated events, films and publications, which draw attention to forms of culture on the fringes of the mainstream or reveal hidden histories.
He is perhaps best-known for The Battle of Orgreave, ‘a piece of living history’ which was a commissioned by Art Angel in 2001. This work brought together veteran miners and members of historical re-enactment societies who restaged the controversial clash between miners and the police during 1984-5. This collaboration resulted in a film, a book and an audio recording, which all function to resurrect the raw emotions from the period and provide a fresh account of events that have been distorted by the media.
Deller’s recent projects have explored the cultural landscape of specific places. In A Social Parade he celebrated the diversity of San Sebastian in Spain by inviting a cross-section of the city’s social groups to form a parade along the central boulevard. His film Memory Bucket 2003 uses documentary techniques to explore the state of Texas, focusing on two politically charged locations: the site of the Branch Davidian siege in Waco and President Bush’s home town of Crawford. Archive news footage is collaged with interviews, juxtaposing official reports with personal narratives.
Deller has also consistently explored the cultural and political heritage of Britain. For his new series of photographs, he has made and commissioned a variety of memorials to key individuals and events in recent history, including an official bench near Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s house in Belgravia, and a road sign to commemorate the death of a cyclist.