BRITISH PAVILION AT THE
55TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
The British Council is delighted to present 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 and 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 an 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 thanks to the generous support of the Art Fund – the national fundraising charity for art.
‘It’s been great to be able 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 - BIOGRAPHY AND SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, London; lives London) studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute and at Sussex University. He began making artworks in the early 1990s, often showing them outside 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. In 2000, with fellow artist Alan Kane, Deller began a collection of items that illustrate the passions and pastimes of people from across Britain and the social classes. Treading a fine line between art and anthropology, Folk Archive is a collection of objects which touch on diverse subjects such as morris dancing, gurning competitions and political demonstrations. The Folk Archive became part of the British Council Collection in 2007 and has since toured to Shanghai, Paris and Milan.
In 2001 Deller staged The Battle of Orgreave, commissioned by Artangel and Channel 4, directed by Mike Figgis. The work involved a re-enactment which brought together around 1000 veteran miners and members of historical societies to restage the 1984 clash between miners and police in 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 the exotic wrestler Adrian Street to the die-hard international fan base of the band Depeche Mode.
In 2009 Deller undertook a road trip across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, towing a car destroyed in a bomb attack in Baghdad and accompanied by an Iraqi citizen and a US war veteran. The project, It Is What It Is, was presented at Creative Time and the New Museum, New York and 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. During the summer of 2012 Sacrilege, Deller’s life-size inflatable version of Stonehenge – a co-commission between Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the Mayor of London - toured around the UK to great public acclaim.
Deller has exhibited widely around the world 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, Palais de Tokyo, 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; showing at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis.
Jeremy Deller is represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Galerie Art:Concept, Paris and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York.
THE BRITISH COUNCIL AT THE VENICE BIENNALE
The British Council has commissioned artists to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale to celebrate the best of emerging and established British art since 1938. Artists representing Britain have included Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Ben Nicholson, Anthony Caro, Bridget Riley, Richard Long, Frank Auerbach, Howard Hodgkin, Barry Flanagan, Anish Kapoor, Richard Hamilton, Rachel Whiteread, Leon Kossoff, Gary Hume, Mark Wallinger, Chris Ofili, Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, Steve McQueen and most recently Mike Nelson in 2011.
The British Council appoints a committee of leading arts professionals from across the UK to select the British representation for the Venice Biennale every two years. The committee for 2013 was;
Ben Borthwick, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Artes Mundi 5, Cardiff
Maoliosa Boyle, Director, Void Gallery, Derry
Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern, London
Simon Groom, Director, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Waldemar Januszczak, Art Critic, The Sunday Times
Jenni Lomax, Director, Camden Arts Centre, London
Victoria Pomery, Director, Turner Contemporary, Margate
Simon Wallis, Director, The Hepworth Wakefield
For further information please visit www.britishcouncil.org/venicebiennale
British Pavilion, Giardini di Castello, Venice 30122
1st June to 24th November 2013
10am-6pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays.
THE BRITISH PAVILION IS MANAGED BY THE BRITISH COUNCIL VISUAL ARTS DEPARTMENT
Commissioner: Andrea Rose
Exhibition Curator: Emma Gifford-Mea
FOR LATEST NEWS ON THE COMMISSION
For press information, interview opportunities and images please contact:
Chloe Kinsman or Kara Reaney at Pelham Communications:
T. +44 (0) 208 9693 959
T. +44 (0) 7824 697 795
HIGH RES IMAGES
For high resolution downloadable images of work in English Magic please go to:
INFORMATION ABOUT THE BRITISH COUNCIL:
T. +44 (0) 7798 840 876
EXHIBITION TOUR VENUES AND DATES
William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest, London
Late January – end March 2014
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol
April - September 2014
Turner Contemporary, Margate
September – December 2014