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An Evening with Jeremy Deller & friends: "Art is Magic" book launch.

Updated: Jan 11

Supported by the Arts Council's Late Night Event Pilot Programme

A man and two people talking in a low lit room
Photo credit: Maria Maarbjerg

A Journey Through Art, Music, and Cultural Discourse

The vibrant art scene was set ablaze with excitement on a memorable evening celebrating the launch of Jeremy Deller's "Art is Magic." This book, a seminal work in itself, represents Deller's attempt to amalgamate his illustrious career's key works with the multifarious art, music, film, politics, and history that have fuelled his creative journey. For decades, the art world has marvelled at Deller's contributions, but "Art is Magic" marks the first time he has intricately woven all his cultural influences into a single tapestry.

Deller and Siobhán Kane: A Revealing Q&A

The evening's cornerstone was a profound Q&A session between Deller and Siobhán Kane from Young Hearts Run Free. They delved deep into Deller's life in art, examining it through the prism of "Art is Magic." This discussion not only illuminated Deller's creative processes but also offered a rare glimpse into the personal experiences shaping his art.

A Cinematic Prelude

Setting the stage for the evening, the audience was treated to Deller's documentary, "Everybody in The Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984–1992." This film brilliantly captures the essence of acid house, rave culture, and the political turbulence in Britain during the 1980s and early 1990s. Complementing this was Johnny Savage's short film, "Resonant Frequency," which served as a fitting overture to the night's proceedings.

The Musical Landscape

Post-discussion, the event transitioned into a celebration of music, with a live set from Frog Of Earth (FOE). Mel Keane's project, blending folk music with nature and pseudophilosophy, offered a unique musical interpretation of Ireland's real and imagined histories. The night further escalated with Roo Honeychild, founder of Club Comfort, taking the DJ reins. Known for her high-energy, gritty sets, Honeychild perfectly encapsulated the event's spirited ambience. Meanwhile, Room 2 witnessed an Atomic Radio takeover, featuring F!ONN, Pippa Molony, Pesci Tooth, and Reflekta, each adding their unique flair to the night's musical narrative.

"Art is Magic": A Comprehensive Insight

Deller's "Art is Magic" is more than a book; it's a journey through his artistic psyche. Divided into three sections, it offers a visual guide through his favourite works, reflections on his life and art, and a scrapbook of images explaining his inspirations. From Rod Stewart to Bats, the book is an eclectic mix of Deller's artistic muses. Notably, the book showcases a range of Deller's works, many previously unseen, like his inflatable Stonehenge, the "Battle of Orgreave" film, and his commentary on grouse shooting showcased at the Venice Biennale.

A Testament to a Prolific Career

"Art is Magic" provides a rigorous, comprehensive account of Jeremy Deller's work. It is a testament to his impact on the contemporary art scene, resonating with everyone, from art aficionados to casual enthusiasts. The book, like the event, is not just a celebration of Deller's work; it's an homage to the power of art to reflect, critique, and enrich our understanding of the world around us.

In conclusion, the evening was not just a book launch; it was a cultural event, a confluence of art, discussion, film, and music, all interwoven to celebrate the magic that is Jeremy Deller's art.

Photography credit: Maria Maarbjerg


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