Jeremy Deller
Can Art Change the World? Louisiana Channel, 2024

Jeremy Deller: Can Art Change the World?

“I think Andy Warhol changed the world. But then, did he change it for the better?”

We asked the English conceptual artist Jeremy Deller if he thinks art has the power to change the world. 

With a master’s degree in Art History and a body of work that engages in fan culture, music history and political history, Deller has a deep knowledge and interest in the interplay between culture and society.

In ‘Our Hobby is Depeche Mode’ (2006), a documentary co-directed with filmmaker Nick Abrahams, Deller portrayed the hardcore international fan base of Depeche Mode and how their passion for the band turned into an all-encompassing hobby. ”I think art can offer personal salvation in the way that religion did once. I think it can change people’s lives on an individual basis. Whether it can change whole societies. I’m not sure,” Deller reflects.

As a canonized British artist, Deller has experienced how collectors and art world patrons praise the transformative powers of art and artists. Deller, on the other hand, does not share this belief. Whereas art may change the trajectory of individuals’ lives, the power to make big structural changes resides elsewhere. He concludes: “If you’re looking for artists to change the world, I think you’re probably looking in the wrong place.”

Jeremy Deller was born in London in 1966. His practice encompasses installations, performances, videos, and public collaborations. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2004 and represented Great Britain at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Deller’s collaborative projects include “We’re Here Because We’re Here,” where volunteers dressed as World War I soldiers for a collective remembrance experience. His works have been exhibited internationally, including Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, New York City, Moscow, Singapore, Tokyo, and Copenhagen.

Jeremy Deller was interviewed by Nanna Rebekka in his studio in North London in February 2023.

Camera: Kyle Stevenson Produced and edited by: Nanna Rebekka

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023.

Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.

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