Jeremy Deller - Edited rushes

The Modern Institute, Glasgow, 23 Sep-28 Oct


It would be easy to start this small preview with the words ‘2004 Turner Prize winner’, but it’s much better to let it nestle near the middle of a the first sentence next to a comma. The fabric of Deller’s work unfolds like a skein of correspondences, covering film, photography and sculpture - but in a very loose manner. These media are utilised to create and record social, political and cultural phenomena, from the miners’ strike in the 1980s (Battle of Orgreave), to the relationships between brass band music and acid jazz (Acid Jazz). In his Memory Bucket documentary of 2003, a film about Texas, Bush’s tastes for war and burgers are given equal amounts of attention.

One could call this ‘project-based art’, which sounds too quaint and dull to cover the expansive witty scenarios and relationships that Deller creates. These actions and interventions write, re-write, underline and overwrite history, demonstrating that it is made rather than innocently discovered. Contradictions and traumas are gently teased out, using art as the lever.

Some find his folk art tendencies ‘disgustingly twee’ while others find a sense of humor and a slight left wing political slant in his recreations and installations. In his ‘Folk Archive’ project with Alan Kane, which has been on tour and shown this year in a selection of galleries throughout Britain and mainland Europe, Deller acts as informed curator and art historian. These professions inform his role as artist, with new work on display in this long overdue return to Glasgow.

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