Jeremy Deller exhibit

Saw this in conjunction with the Shrigley exhibition. Whilst I swamp Shrigley with all due praise for his work, I gotta say I enjoyed Deller’s more. I think it was the Britishness about it I liked. His observations of our culture are witty and true. For instance his photographs of Car Boot sales and the crap he’s amassed from them. All aload of junk, but we love it nonetheless. My favourite part was a subtle photograph in a drawer within a replica of his bedroom: an image of an elderly couple at the bus stop, captioned “Waiting for the jumble sale”. It struck a funny chord with me, where I’m from in Clacton the area’s swarming with old people who love going to these sales on Sunday. And it’s true they are filled with real crap like broken keyboards, “antique” furniture half rotten, computer monitors from the 1990’s, Spice Girls CD’s, “world’s best lover” mugs, rusty tools in half broken toolboxes, mouldy paintings of unrecognizable landscapes, biographies on unknown sports stars, romantic novels, VHS tapes of recorded porno stashed into old plastic boxes with “XXX” scrawled in dirty handwriting on top, toys missing vital parts, and alot of denim. I could really relate to Deller’s experience with these areas and his own self-confessed love for them. They are great places in their own.

Then there are photos like this plastered on the walls. Such charming work, another shows Deller sitting at the prom next to a girl titled “A GIRL I FANCIED BUT NEVER TOLD” it’s really good stuff, it captures the mannerisms of youth (England’s youth in particular) very well. We’ve all been there. There’s a replica tea-shop set up in a larger area, supposedly mimicking the tea shop from his youth. I had my first cup of tea here and it wasnt that bad. But I’ve always thought I smoke enough fags I don’t wanna get addicted to tea as well. But much like the rest of his work, undeniably charming (also the tea was free). It’s almost like a biographic gallery of his youth he wants to share with us. His more recent work involves creating a one-day festival celebrating ethnicity, boy scouts, tiny clubs, all the little collectives and everything else in the village which paraded down miles of road with crouds at the street edge cheering them on. A hatred of health and safety spoken about in his video when trying to replicate the slippery pole from 40 years ago men had to climb up, and denied by the council. Pah. He reproduced and filmed the miners strike from the 60’s which clashed with police (although I wasnt too interested in this [it wasn’t as fun]), and created a load of Bat-Houses across the country for his love of the creatures (inspired by David Attenborough). What a cool guy, I like him alot. I don’t know whether to class it as art but then it doesn’t need a label, its inspiring stuff that showed everything thats great and funny about this country and the people in it. Our wierd mannerisms in particular. Great stuff Deller you the man!


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