Jeremy Deller Does His English Magic Trick At the 55th Venice Biennale

“The show is about magic. There is good magic and bad magic. The magic of deception and hiding things , also the magic of wonderment and beauty”. – Jeremy Deller

The British Council has announced the opening of English Magic, a new exhibition by Jeremy Deller which has been conceived and created for the British Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition reflects the roots of much of Deller’s work, focusing on British society – its people, icons, myths, folklore, its cultural and political history. He weaves together high and low, popular and rarefied to create unique and thought provoking work.

English Magic addresses events from the past, present and imagined future. Deller frames these instances in a way that is contemporary but also true to the original subject, weaving a narrative that is almost psychedelic, hovering delicately between fact and fiction, real and imagined. After Venice, UK audiences will be able to view the exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and Turner Contemporary Margate in 2014. This national tour which is the first of its kind, has been made possible with the generous support of the Art Fund – the national fund raising charity for art.

“It’s been really great to make new work for a building like the British Pavilion. I’m also really happy that the show will return to British shores in 2014!” Jeremy Deller The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, published by the British Council which features a new essay by Hal Foster and an interview between Jeremy Deller, Chris Dercon and John Paul Lynch.
Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, London; lives London) studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute and at Sussex University. After meeting Andy Warhol in 1986 he spent two weeks at the Factory in New York. He began making artworks in the early 1990s, often showing them outside of conventional galleries. In 1993, while his parents were on holiday, he secretly used the family home for an exhibition titled Open Bedroom.

Four years later he produced the musical performance Acid Brass with the Williams-Fairey Band, and began making art in collaboration with other people. Deller staged The Battle of Orgreave in 2001, commissioned by Artangel and Channel 4, directed by Mike Figgis, a re-enactment which brought together around 1000 veteran miners and members of historical societies to restage the 1984 clash between miners and police at Orgreave, Yorkshire. In 2004, Deller won the Turner Prize for Memory Bucket (2003), a documentary about Texas. He has since made a number of documentaries on subjects ranging from exotic wrestler Adrian Street to die-hard international fans of the band Depeche Mode.

In 2009 Deller undertook a road trip across the US from New York to Los Angeles along with an Iraqi citizen and a US war veteran, towing a car destroyed in a bomb attack in Baghdad. The project, It Is What It Is, was presented at the New Museum, New York; the car is now part of the Imperial War Museum’s Collection. In the same year he staged Procession, in Manchester, involving participants, commissioned floats, choreographed music and performances creating an odd and celebratory spectacle.

Deller has exhibited widely internationally and selected monographic exhibitions include: Unconvention (1999, Centre for Visual Arts, Cardiff), After the Goldrush(2002, Wattis Institute, San Francisco), Folk Archive with Alan Kane (2004, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Barbican Art Gallery, London), Jeremy Deller (2005, Kunstverein, Munich), From One Revolution to Another (2008, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq (2009, New Museum, NY, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), Processions (2009, Cornerhouse, Manchester) and Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery which is currently touring in the US.

The exhibition is on view: British Pavilion, Giardini di Castello 30122
Exhibition dates: 1st June to 24th November 2013
Opening times: 10am-6pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays.
Visit 55th Venice Biennale Here


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