Jeremy Deller, born in London in 1966, is a conceptual, video and installation artist. He was educated at Dulwich College and the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London); he did his MA in Art History at the University of Sussex under David Alan Mellor. In 1995, Deller exhibited at EASTinternational, which was selected by Marian Goodman and Giuseppe Penone. He was invited to select EASTinternational in 2006 with Dirk Snauwaert. In 1997, Deller embarked on Acid Brass, a musical collaboration with the Williams Fairey Brass Band from Stockport. The project was based on fusing the music of a traditional brass band with acid house and Detroit techno. In 2004, for the opening of Manifesta 5, the roving European Biennial of Contemporary art, Deller organised a Social Parade through the streets of the city of Donostia-San Sebastian, drafting in cadres of local alternative societies and support groups to participate.
Deller was the winner of the Turner Prize in 2004. His show at Tate Britain included documentation on Battle of Orgreave and an installation Memory Bucket (2003), a documentary about Crawford, Texas – the hometown of George W. Bush – and the siege in nearby Waco. In 2006, he was involved in a touring exhibit of contemporary British folk art, in collaboration with Alan Kane. In late 2006, he instigated The Bat House Project, an architectural competition open to the public for a bat house on the outskirts of London.
Much of Deller's work is collaborative. His work has a strong political aspect, in the subjects dealt with and also the devaluation of artistic ego through the involvement of other people in the creative process. Folk Archive is a tour of "people's art", outside of the contemporary art institution. Much of his work is ephemeral in nature and avoids commodification. In 2007, Deller was appointed a Trustee of the Tate Gallery. In 2008, 'The Posters Came from the Walls', a documentary co-directed with Nick Abrahams about Depeche Mode fans around the world was premiered at the London Film Festival, and followed by festival screenings around the world. In 2009, Deller created Procession,a free and uniquely Mancunian parade through the centre of Manchester along Deansgate, a co-commission by Manchester International Festival and Cornerhouse. Procession worked with diverse groups of people drawn from the 10 boroughs of Manchester and took place on Sunday 5 July at 14:00.
Commissioned in 2009 as part of The Three M Project (a group composed of the New Museum, New York; the Hammer Museum, LA; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, to exhibit and commission new works of art), Deller created It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq.The project was designed to foster public discussion by having guest experts engage museum visitors in a free-form, unscripted dialogue about issues concerning Iraq. On October 1st, 2010, in an open letter to the British Government's culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, co-signed by 28 former Turner prize nominees, and 18 winners, Deller opposed any future cuts in public funding for the arts. In the letter the cosignatories described the arts in Britain as a "remarkable and fertile landscape of culture and creativity." In 2010, he was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) for 'creating art that encourages public responses and creativity'. Joy in People, a retrospective of Deller's work, showed at the Hayward Gallery, London, between February and May 2012. In August of 2014, Deller was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.