An interview with Jeremy Deller
Classified is a display at Tate Britain. The press release says Classified addresses the museum’s role of collecting, classifying and displaying objects and the way in which the arrangements of objects feed into those systems and methodologies we have devised to classify, interpret the objects and bring order to the world. Jeremy Deller 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. Deller’s wall drawing, “History of the World 1998” is featured in Classified, Harry Pye asked him a few questions.
Harry Pye: You are known to be a big music fan and you’ve collaborated with the KLF and made work about fans of British bands like The Manics and Depeche Mode. Which British bands are you most excited about at the moment? Which British bands would you like to make a work about or work with?
Jeremy Deller: “I have almost lost touch with music which is sad but predictable, I still go to gigs but now it is totally random, I still know what I don't like, Lady Gaga for example, I'm of to see Kraftwerk next month. I’m not sure who I would like to work with in the UK.”
Do you like the music of Martin Creed as much as the art of Martin Creed?
“Surely it’s the same thing?”
Do you think it’s exciting that Tate Britain is putting on Classified?
“I think it is good that TB is putting on a contemporary show (albeit from their collection) so soon after the Triennial.”
The co curator of Classified is Andrew Wilson. Is he someone you’ve worked with in the past and do you rate him as a curator?
“I've known Andrew for a long time and he is a very thoughtful person quite the opposite of some starry curators.”
Classified is free, no tickets required. How important is it that Tate Britain puts on displays of work by contemporary artists and doesn’t charge money?
“Its not important, it's essential.”
Is your wall drawing, “History of the World 1998?” a work you feel proud of?
“I am very fond of the work, it was the work that led on to many other things and so is central to my own biography, it might not be my most known work but it totally fits into the theme of the show.”
Tacita Dean is known for making beautiful 16mm films is their a place in your heart for her work?
“Yes, did you see her film of a small group of nuns in Ireland? It was really fantastic.”
And what are your views on The Chapman Family Collection? Bob & Roberta Smith once told me he felt that when compared with other British artists he thought The Chapmans were “Gods stalking the earth”. Do you feel worthy to be in a show with them?
“I tend to agree with Bob and Roberta as you are never quite sure what they are going to do next which is a good thing with artists , so many just get into a groove, and they have a sense of humour which is strangely unusual, having said that I am worthy to be in the show with them!”
Classified which features Jeremy’s work alongside contributions from fellow Turner Prize winners Simon Starling and Damien Hirst, as well as The Chapmans, Tacita Dean and Martin Creed runs from the 22nd June until the 23rd of August 2009.
Tate Britain Linbury Galleries Tuesday 22 June – Sunday 23 August 2009 Admission Free Opening hours: Tate Britain is open daily, http://www.facebook.com/l/;10.00-17.50 Exhibitions http://www.facebook.com/l/;10.00-17.40 (last admission 17.00)Classified is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Curator Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain, and Andrew Wilson, Curator Modern & Contemporary British Art at Tate.