Social Surrealism: Three Films by Jeremy Deller

Monday, March 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith

“I thought I would try to get by on my wits creatively, whatever that meant.”  - JEREMY DELLER
In 1986, while hanging out in Andy Warhol’s Factory for a couple of weeks, a 20-year-old art history student from London had a life-changing epiphany: art could be made out of whatever you were interested in. Nearly three decades later, Jeremy Deller is arguably one of the most influential artists of his generation, celebrated as “an enabler, intermediary, collaborator and all-round enlightenment artist … whose material is drawn straight from the life around him, from people’s experiences, from writing and history almost as it happens” (The Guardian). Tonight’s program includes two feature-length documentaries the artist made with the filmmaker Nick Abrahams, one about a pop-culture Renaissance man, the other about Depeche Mode fans, and a short biopic of Adrian Street, a coal miner’s son whose wrestling persona inspired Glam Rock and early performance art, a man Deller thinks “needs to be seen as the hero of his own life.”
The Bruce Lacey Experience | Great Britain 2012. Dirs: Jeremy Deller, Nick Abrahams. 67 min.
So Many Ways to Hurt You (The Life and Times of Adrian Street) | Great Britain 2010. Dir: Jeremy Deller. 28 min.
Our Hobby is Depeche Mode | Great Britain 2008. Dirs: Jeremy Deller, Nick Abrahams. 73 min.
Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, London) studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art and University of Sussex. He had his first solo exhibition in his parents’ house while they were away on vacation and subsequent ones in Paris, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In 2012, the Hayward Gallery, London, organized a touring mid-career retrospective, Joy in People. Deller received the Turner Prize in 2004 and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
Nick Abrahams studied art and English literature at Exeter University and Art School. He came to filmmaking as a director of pop videos for Stereolab, Manic Street Preachers, Sigur Ros, and many others. He is currently working on his first feature.
Image: Adrian Street, vintage photograph, 1973, from So Many Ways to Hurt You, 2010.