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looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller

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can art change the world? jeremy deller responds

 

Can art change the world? It’s a question that has long intrigued the art scene without a clear answer. It’s also the question posed to artist Jeremy Deller by the Louisiana Channel, the video platform produced by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. In a newly unveiled video interview, the British conceptual artist reflects from his North London studio on whether art can transform society, sharing his deep knowledge in the interplay between culture and society. ‘If you’re looking to artists to change the world, I think you’re probably looking in the wrong place,’ Deller says. ‘It’s like a last resort, really,’ he adds. Read more about Jeremy Deller’s insights, below. 

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
all images courtesy of Louisiana Channel

 

 

Louisiana channel in conversation with jeremy deller

 

In the video produced by Louisiana Channel (find more here), Jeremy Deller (find more here) reflects on how art can change people on a personal level. ‘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,’ the artist shares. He further explains that while art can reflect society, this doesn’t necessarily mean it changes it. ‘If that’s the case, why don’t we live in an ideal society? Because all these artists have been making great art for years, and yet it’s still a mess,’ he says. According to Deller, this suggests that art cannot fundamentally change society for the better, but it can still transform individuals and alter the trajectory of their lives. ‘Art certainly changed my life,’ Deller mentions.

 

The artist goes on to express his doubts about artists changing the world. He delves into his belief by sharing his experiences from various art events, where wealthy individuals claim that artists are superhuman and are going to change our lives. Deller argues that this is an unfair expectation, as those with money should also be doing their part. ‘These are people with literally billions, maybe even many many millions; people who are actually in the position to change the world, if they wanted to ‘But often all they do is just collect art’. the artist says. ‘Maybe their money should be going somewhere else? That’s sort of an unfashionable thing to say as an artist,’ he admits. 

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
Jeremy Deller in his North London studio

 

 

did Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso change the world?

 

‘I don’t think you should look to artists, really. I mean, some artists do change the world. I think Andy Warhol changed the world. But then, did he change it for the better? I don’t know,’ Deller says. ‘The Beatles, I think, changed the world. Rock n’ roll changed the world, probably for the better (…) And maybe other music movements. Maybe music rather than art. Art is still so refined in a way.’ 

 

‘Did Picasso change the world for the better? It’s not clear to me. He made the world a more interesting place. So maybe that is better. But I don’t think he changed world politics necessarily,’ Jeremy Deller concludes.  

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
‘I think art can offer personal salvation in the way that religion did once,’ says Deller

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
Jeremy Deller’s practice encompasses installations, performances, videos, and public collaborations

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
Deller’s body of work engages in fan culture, music history and political history

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
Louisiana Channel transports us to Jeremy Deller’s studio

jeremy-deller-louisiana-channel-designboom-full-01

text-based works can be found throughout Deller’s portfolio

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
the British artist employs a range of different media and materials for his pieces

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller

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looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
vibrant colors and expressive works adorn Deller’s studio

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller

looking to artists to change the world? you're looking in the wrong place, says jeremy deller
‘art certainly changed my life,’ Deller mentions

 

 

project info: 

 

name: Jeremy Deller: Can Art Change the World?
camera: Kyle Stevenson Produced
edited by: Nanna Rebekka
copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023

 

photos include installation views from Deller’s solo exhibition Welcome to the Shitshow at Charlottenborg Kunsthal in Copenhagen

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