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Jeremy Deller: Middle Class Hero - A Culture Show Special

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Jeremy Deller? A short bloke, from Dulwich, who went to public school


and likes jumble sales. I am about twice the size of him in terms of


mass. If you put me in a microwave, Jeremy Deller would come out.


wouldn't think he was anything special. You wound say that is


Jeremy Deller. Sometimes he looks like a camp tramp. He is my


unconventional son. Jeremy Deller is the artist who more than anyone


else in his generation has changed the way we think about art. I am


not sure what his art is. Perhaps somebody can tell me. He doesn't


make you know, arty objects and sticks them in a gallery. That is


not what he does. He is a funny little guy on a bike. I am Jeremy


Deller. The funny little guy on the bike. But I'm an artist, and behind


me is the Hague Hague where I am going to have a really big show. --


First bike I had would have had stabilisers, I was young, I wasn't


a teenager or anything but it was like a kiddies' bike, with thick


wheels and stabilisers. More or less I have cycled. Used to cycle


the school and after that, I used, it was a convenient way of getting


round London. Wow! You all right? am fine. What happened? It totally


skidded. I have made work round cycling or bike, one is a series of


photographs of signs saying you can't park your bike here or chain


it to these railings. It is called the war on terror because the bike


is a good thing and it should be allowed to be put anywhere I think.


The best thing about cycling is you can go anywhere on a bike. You have


an amazing freedom. You can even go to Texas!


# My golden jet is airborne # Flight 50 scuts a path across the


morning sky # And a voice comes on the speaker


# Reassuring us flight 50 I am in west Texas, in the Hill


Country, in the Frio caves waiting for an exodus of bats at sunset,


when maybe up to 10 million bats are going to leave the cave. We


will film them in 3-D and the film will be in the Hayward Gallery in


the Hayward show, it will be the last room of the show. It will be a


3-D viewing space. It will be the climax of the show. It nearly


killed us because we nearly got struck by lightening, a huge


electrical storm came. It was very close to us. It was quite scary I


thought. Much more scary han the To witness it in the flesh, as it


were, it is overwhelming, and awe inspiring. It is like a romantic


painting. It is more romantic than gothic, but bats have a gothic


image. But it fits in with romantic art, to be in awe of nature and


slightly scared of it, and it being untameable. I am very interested in


bats. I like the way they live together in large groups, the fact


they are so resolved. They can fly, they can do things we can't as


mammals, so I want to communicate some of that in the film so that is


why 3-D seemed to work. That is an over the top way of filming, and


the audio will be very important. So I have been recording them with


a bat detector which tunes into the freak says that are using to


communicate and to hunt. This looks good on a screen. How it would look


in a pro jebg for I have no idea. It is incredibly dramatic. I just


got kiss in my eye. Tonight, it could have been better, because it


was quite dark and I just think it could, you know, in different


lighting could have been even more dramatic. But I have the option to


stay another night. They are talking to me really. They are


saying "Stay here. It will be better tomorrow. "we will have a


I couldn't get the camera quite high enough yesterday, to film the


bats, so I am improvising today, with a new invention, which is


going to be a platform on one tripod and we will put another


tripod on the platform so it's a double-tripod effect. I think


artists do often end up having to improvise a lot. I don't think that


is uncrucial. -- unusual. This is par for the course for a lot of


people. Usually they are better at it than I am. Most artists are very


gifted technically, and can do amazing things. With their hands


and so on. I have never been that This is the stressful bit as you


wait. Just like before you go on stage. Your 20 minute call or 15


Some of my earliest memories are of watching nature documentaries. When


they good they are almost like works of art. So, you know, you can


look at any Sir David Attenborough film, he is on the verge of being


an artist, I would say. The skill is in making the expense of the


film as intense as the experience I've had, coming here. Because you


will be in a dark room, which is almost like being in a cavement


watching this thing happen to you. Basically happening at you. It is


an amazing experience. It is fantastic. I am an artist but not


in a conventional way. I don't draw or paint or sculpt or make a mess


in a way a lot of artists do I am not very good at technical things


either. So I have to keep to my strengths and what I am good at is


collaborating with people and organising events and working with


musician and groups of people. These are things that usually


happen outside Art Gallery, so the idea o of a retrospective in a


gallery is odd, if you think about it. Especially as I had an um


promising start to my art career. He never was annal artist.


Although during his school life he did make the odd model. There was a


locust. For science. It was a superb model but a locust is about


six inch, this thing was about 18 inches. It had to go carefully on


the back of his bike to school. got kicked, I didn't get kicked out,


I got moved out of an art class early on at the age of 12 or 13.


And sent to the pottery class, which was the remedial class basic


obey si sickly. I think I made a Womble. I think he was banned from


the art room. The art master who was very nice, he said you have no


talent in this direction at draw organise whatever. Try something


else. Because I wasn't allowed to do art I thought art history was


the closest thing. I taught Jeremy in a little class, about four or


five boys and I think he liked being out of the way as far as the


school went. To do this was heaven, really. Because you were wandering


round an Art Gallery talking about paintings. So that made me think I


would like to do this and see what happens. That is why I went to the


Courtauld. In the first year, at the end of the first year, it was


where I met Andy Warhol. That was an important moment. Andy Warhol.


Andy Warhol. The reason I am telling this story is because it


had an influence on me. It wasn't just boasting, even though it is


boastful. He had a show in London, at the Anthony d'Offay gallery I


thought I'm going go to that and try and meet him and get my picture


taken with him. I turned up at the opening quite early, dressed almost


as a schoolboy, and he arrived. And he sat behind a big table. Even ran


to the table. He got a pen out and started signing stuff. After that I


was standing round, and one of his guys came up to me, and started


chatting to me saying "You should come and see us, come over to the


hotel." And I thought is this dodgy or not? I can't work it out. But


I'm going to do it. He said they were staying at the Ritz. I took a


friend Chris, I thought I needed back up. I don't know what I'm


letting myself in for with this situation. We got to the Ritz, we


stood outside the door and we were thinking what is on the other side


of that door? What are we letting ourselves in for? I think we got


the giggles, so we knocked. The door opened and there, there is


Warhol with like four or five other guy, sitting round. Watching the


Benny Hill Show, with the sound down and listening to Roxy Music


And we just spent a couple of hours there, we just, he started taking


pictures of us. We had hats and stuff in our bag. We started


putting the hats on. And just, mucking about. It was innocent fun.


Quite incredibly. Apart from one point he kind of groped me. I just


thought "Oh God, that's amazing. Thank you." Then he invited us to


New York to go to the Factory to, hang round there. That summer. He


worked with musicians, made film, did publishing, did performances


and you think this is what it is like. This is what it should be


like to be an artist. You can do whatever you want. He did what he


wanted to do. I just felt, this is what I want to do. I was living at


home with my parents. I just started making things. You will


walk in and find yourself in Jeremy Deller's bedroom. The place he live


until he was about 31. Where he had his first public art exhibition.


was too old to be living at school. His parents went on holiday he


decide rad ther than have a party, he would have an exhibition. The


first thing you would have seen was a series of photographs of Bez,


frame grabs from the Step On video, of him looking at the camera and


just doing something like this, some movement. He looked like he


was flying. That was up the wall. This is where the graffiti from the


British Library toilets was. We used to visit the British Library.


You could read the graffiti in the toilets that was amazing. Some of


the funniest things I have read. I wrote it on to A4 sheets and tacked


it up in the toilet. I made paint information the bedroom about the


life of Keith Moon. It went from his birth, really, childhood to his


resurrection effectively, including his death. That was the core of the


show. That was the first paintings I did properly. To be honest about


the last ones I did as well. Then, in the living room, this is, these


are my parents, they weren't in the living room. Where the mirror s


there was a photograph of taken at a party of a young lady. No nudity!


Promise. Then on the mantelpiece, there were lots of little calling


cards I had made. They were invitations from football hooligan


crews to go to a match and have a fight. They were worded in a


Tatleresque way on lovely cards I didn't invite me people because I


didn't know what would happen if they came. Trash the house but of


We had an opening on a Sunday afternoon and served gin-and-tonic


in the dining room which is now the kitchen. Crisps and stuff. We just


let them roam around the house. It was all very sedate, very pleasant.


You would have liked it. You should have been there. Had we known about


it, yes. You found out in your own Open Bedroom maybe proved I wasn't


going to make as a painter but that didn't really bother me because I


was interested in other things at that time. I was just mucking about


really. Mucking about in culture. Making mischief, if you like. I


also didn't have a career to speak of. I wasn't really thinking of one.


I was working in a clothes shop so I made some T-shirts and bumper


stickers to sell there, fake posters, notices on notice boards.


Things like that. Things that were very cheap and easy to make. What I


loved about all of this is you lost control of it. In the end, this was


around the time of the whole YBA seen. The whole YBA thing was


really based around a traditional form, even if the work itself


wasn't that additional. The forms themselves were very traditional.


Paintings and sculpture. And I think myself and some other friends


we saw that very quickly. We wanted to do something that cannot be


bought or sold easily or put over a mantelpiece. So we looked elsewhere


Perhaps the first resolved thing I think we did, was a show we did


with Peter Stringfellow, which was really good fun. I had a friend who


was working for Peter and we were there at an event and it occurred


to us that it would be really great if we made a three-man


collaborative work with Peter. explained to him about contemporary


art and what it meant to us. Art was not just about painting, but


performance, installation. It was about creating an environment and


he totally got it, because he saw his life as a 45-year performance,


basically, with women thrown in. So we spent a day with him. We had our


pictures taken with him in different scenarios. I thought we


were going to go in the club and take the usual photographs. Oh no,


we went into Hyde Park, the Serpentine. Like this? Yeah. We


will have photographs there? On a boat. A boat? By now, I'm having a


ball. It's hilarious. They're taking photographs. And what's


happening now? No, this is it. This is it. What we're doing is art.


It's fabulous. Here we go. I'm art. I wanted to feed the ducks and they


said, what a good idea. We had no bread. We started looking through a


bin. This is great art, he says. Us looking through a bin to feed the


We had an opening which was quite chaotic because it seemed that


everyone in the art world came because at last they had a reason


or an excuse to go to Stringfellows. Whether they saw the work or not


didn't matter. The work was behind velvet curtains hung up on the


On the evening itself, we made some chat-up lines that you could give


out. You got a free chat-up line with a bottle of beer. You would


give those out to people rather than embarrass yourself saying


awkward lines. You can give someone a card that said things like,


"Didn't I used to go out with you?" Or "Could you buy me a drink?"


which was Jeremy's favourite line. We did our own Becks beer bottle.


They worked with artists at the I think most people were slightly


miffed we weren't more judgmental and slightly more pointedly


undermining Peter in some way. In fact, we were sort of celebrating.


I did eventually grasp what he meant by creating art. Not drawing


it, not making it, not doing sculptures, but actually creating


an event. This is art. Bang. Working with Peter Stringfellow


gave me confidence to work with other people or groups of people.


It made me realise that the public, members of the public, were up for


working with artists and were interested in artists. So the next


person I had to ring up and ask to work with me was the manager of a


The idea came about through a conversation in a pub with a bunch


of mates. And the words were put together and I just thought, that


actually can work. You can actually do that. I knew nothing at all


about acid house music before I met Jeremy. I never even knew what it


was. So he sent me these tapes of acid house music and my first


reaction was, "Oh dear, this is not going to work at all in a brass


band." Anyway, I persevered with it and listen to more tracks. And I


found, in fact, one or two things did work. For instance, in a piece


like 808 State's Pacific 202, I found that the opening chords


worked very well on the tenor horns, the baritone tenor horns, and the


You see, it sounds rather nice, doesn't it? Then there was a lovely


lyrical solo line which worked And there were some very busy riffs


in the bass which worked I just thought this could work as


an idea but also as a musical project. It wasn't just funny. I


mean, there's humour in it, obviously. There is meant to be


humour and absurdity like in a lot of things I do. But there is


totally something about it that resonated beyond it just being a


music project. Good, OK. Make sure, Martin, you


get that. That's the old rap. "Let me ask you a question. What time is


As soon as the words were put together, the flow chart came into


my mind. My brain just went like I was actually trying to prove a


point beyond music. Maybe about music's relationship to history and


The first time we played it, we really didn't think it was any good,


did we? No. Rubbish. It was a bit repetitive. Once they saw the


audience reaction, then they It's the atmosphere that makes


these gigs. People are dancing. But one of the big points about it all


is that we remain as a brass band. The tradition of brass band. We sit


where we should sit, we wear what we should wear, play instruments we


should play and you can see people are like, "What's going on?" And


then when we played these acid house anthems people really love it.


They tune into it like that. They were all up dancing at these


barriers at the front of the stage, it was crazy. Bjork was there. She


was dancing in the aisles. Women had to be moved off the stage.


dancers dancing around. It was just hilarious. The more concerts we did,


that is what made it. The free ale at the end made it for me. I was


It was a liberation. It wasn't even a turning point. It opened


everything up to me and since then, the projects I'm best known for


have been ones like Acid Brass, in the sense that you're working with


groups of people. Or doing something live as opposed to


something which can exist in a In fact, the project I'm best known


for was the next one I did after Acid Brass. And it took that idea


of collaboration to a much bigger level. There were about 1,000


people involved and this time it had a much more confrontational


We're on Highfield Lane near Sheffield. But most people know


this area, a lot of people know this area as Orgreave, the site of


a massive confrontation between striking miners and the police in


NEWSREADER: When the first convoy was spotted at around 9 o'clock,


the trouble began. The pickets As a teenager, I'd seen on the news


on TV this battle. I saw miners being pursued up the hill by


mounted policeman. And it look like something out of a medieval battle


to me. And it disturbed me, as a young person. So I wanted to


research into it later on in my life. And in 2001, I made a re-


enactment of that confrontation. And the re-enactment used people of


re-enactment societies around Britain and also 200 former miners


took part in it and played themselves effectively. It was


really a piece of performance art, What did you think when you heard


that I, or someone, was going to re-enact that battle in the place


where it happened more or less with 1,000 people? At first we thought


it was a bit odd because it only just happened. Having a re-


enactment of something so recent. But then it was a major turning


point, a major struggle. It wasn't meant to be forensic. It's like


when a crime is reconstructed for the public to jog their memories.


It was like a re-enactment of a huge crime scene. That's how I saw


it. Almost doing a post-mortem and digging up this body that had been


left. And just digging around in it. People said was about healing


wounds but it was the opposite. I wanted to make people more angry. I


didn't want to heal any wounds really. We didn't either. People


said it was a way of building bridges but I'm not sure. The most


important bridge for us was that one down there which is where they


chased us across the bridge. wanted those people who do re-


enactments to understand history doesn't end at 1945. It carries on


and great battles happen in Britain and they're not all to do with what


you would call conventional wars. The modern historians would like to


forget that there were ever miners and there was a battle of Orgreave.


Or there was a great miners' strike. They want to get on with a new


modern, streamlined world and look where it left us. We put all our


eggs in a basket of the bankers, closed down all the coal mines and


steelworks, and then the bankers take-off. And now they want to tax


us for the problems they created. It all comes back to this field in


Orgreave. All of that, because there was a clear division in


society. There were two roads you could go down. Thatcher's road and


monetarism, or social responsibility and community. And


I'm a visual artist. I did the project with an art organisation, I


told people I was an artist. Do you think that had any bearing on it


for you or for the other people who took part? No, because we are


pretty conventional people and art, to us, is like somebody painting on


a canvas with a little beard and that. And making pots or something.


I think the miners and their families saw it as an opportunity


to tell a story that needed telling. And to record for posterity a


little bit from our point of view. The reconstruction was a really


worthy endeavour, I thought and all credit to you. Thank you. It's been


lovely seeing you, Derek. You haven't changed a bit. Oh, thank


you. Your hair is a bit longer. There's a gap though. The miners,


united, will will never be defeated. The miners will never be defeated.


Til next time, anyway! It's a whole notion of making art that can be


given away. It's free. It's for everybody. Everybody is part of


making the artwork. It is an idea that is inconsistent with what you


are supposed to do as an artist in this day and age. And that's really


nice. I think that's a really I suspect he makes less money than


people think he does. His work is not saleable. You have artists, go


into auction, they become expensive, iconic, it is not, that is not a


bad thing, it is another way of doing it. Jeremy is Jeremy's are


cultural things. Jeremy is almost egoless. I think, you know this is


the secret of why he is o open to working with other people and to


getting excited about what they are doing, drawing things out of them,


rather than it being about what he is authors himself. We know there


are artists in this country that like to be photographed doing


things, and they opinions they like to foist on to people. I hope I'm


not one of those people. Here I am having a TV show made about myself.


Sitting with a television on my lap. So there is a contradiction there


for beginner, at least I am aware of it. Some artists don't know how


annoying they are. So after Orgreave I left Britain for almost


two years, I was travelling round America.. I didn't know what the


reion -- reception for the Orgreave project would be. So I ended up in


America where I made a film about the state of mind of Texas. I am


glad I went. Within the past hour the win over the Turner Prize has


been announced. It has gone to a man who admits he can't paint oar


draw. Jeremy Deller was told he wasn't good enough to take an O-


level in art but he has picked up one of the art world's most


prestigious awards. Beforehand my mother said we are proud of you and


if you don't win it is fine. There was about five seconds celebs, and


she said if you do win, it will be amazing. We became parents of a


Turner Prize winner, so people suddenly said, I didn't know your


son was an artist. It casted legitimacy on what you are doing.


If you are an artist like Jeremy, it can help. It was a short cut to


getting something done. There is no argument. Is he good or not, it


doesn't matter, he has won a prize. That is good. So he is a good


person, and he is a good artist. One of the best things about


winning the Turner Prize is you don't have to go and find work, it


tend to find you, so offers of work and commissions started to come in


and the Depeche Mode film was one such commission. So this photograph,


is of Depeche Mode fans in Red Square in about 1991 or 92. All


trying to dress like the band with their mum's clothes and stuff. It's


a good look. It is a good strong look.


# In your room # Time stands still. #


Nick Abrahams and I were commissioned to make a film for


Mute Records, about Depeche Mode. We suggested we would make a film


where the band didn't appeared. If you saw them it was only fleeting.


The fans were maybe more interesting than the band. I like


it when people are enthusiastic about things, have a child like


enthusiasm. We met a German family called the Granszows who like to


dress up as people who are in Depeche Mode videos. One of the


parents say our hob wri is Depeche Mode. Some people like sport. Our


hobby is Depeche Mode. It's a rational way of looking at it. You


don't think people who love sport are crazy. Best stories really from


Russia and eastern Europe, because the band there were as big as The


Beatles were in the 60s. They were the biggest thing ever. They were


seen as soundtracking the end of We got met at the airport, by about


40 Depeche Mode fan, all carrying these banner, going long live


Depeche Mode. The interesting thing about Russian fans was they had


nothing until recently. They might have had a cassette and a


photograph and try and work out what these people were like. It was


through having very little that made them creative, and bigger fans


really. When Jeremy went back to Russia to do this film, people were


"Welcome back Jeremy" banners, which I suspect he must have


photographs O I was a bit jealous. Now, whenever I travel I expect, I


asked for this to have 30 people with banners whenever I arrive any


where. # I just can't get enough #


It shows you what music does. That is the beauty of Jeremy. He does


things in a very simple way. Straightforward, not complicated.


People feel part of it. They don't feel alienated by it and they feel


they can get into it, but it is not dumb. It is very intelligent.


Because I didn't go to art college, I never felt I had to be obscure


and slightly tricky and arty. I think if you go to art college,


they expect that, and they want to see difficulty and strangeness, and


obtuseness. Neither Alan nor I went to art college. We are direct in


what we do, if not simple. We are simple people, making simple art,


for other simple people basically. That is the way I look at it. We


were talking about what we suspected would be on show in the


Millennium Dome, the kind of corporate version of Britain and


British creativity. And we just knew that it wouldn't represent the


Britain that intrigued us, the things we liked when we were going


about, so we decided we would maybe make an exhibition that would be in


response to Millennium Dome. Most of the things we bumped into, which


is often the best way to find stuff, when you think you are looking for


one thing and you find something else. The underlying sensation,


that we got, and we wanted to translate was the energy, you know,


everyone is at something creative, and it is just absolutely


torrential. This is art made by builders or people working. The


Clown museum, with all the clown faces that are panted on. Painted


signage, this is my favourite one actually. Piazza Rut. We came


across a mechanical elephant we used in the show. Made by a man


called Peter Claire. When he met us he was scared. We called him a


genius within about 30 seconds of meeting him. We were begging him to


lend it to us, so that was a very good day, we got an elephant in


that hunt. The only real rule we had was they were things that were


made by people who wouldn't consider themselves artists. In a


way we were challenging the art world to a fight, an aesthetic


fight, saying I think artists can think they are the only creative


people round, which is not the case. So we were sort of pointing a


finger at other things, saying you think you are good, look at what


this guy has done, look at this performance, just to ground people,


saying there is other stuff going on that isn't going on in


Shoreditch. My Lords, ladies and gentleman. We are gathered here


today to play the ancient game of Haxey. So the Haxey hunt is like a


giant rugby scrum that happens in the village of Haxey once a year.


It has been going on for 700 year, they have characters called the


Fall and the Lord and 11 bog bs who dress in red. They sing songs in


the four pubs, and then even goes up the field with a hood which is


like a leather baton and that is thrown in. Even tries to push or


sway it into one of the four pubs. If it crosses the threshold that


pub keeps it until the next year, which is a big thing. This could be


the most important thing in your life or the most ridiculous. Like


art you try to wonder what the point is, and it is lost in the


mist of time what is the point of It is a public spectacle and human


beings are interested in what other humans are up to, and human


When you think of performance art and what that entails, when you see


this, it is like a performance en Folk Archive was as much about the


people that made the work as the work itself. One of those people


was Ed Hall who makes banners. Ed and I have been working together


for about 12 years and he is a key part of this show at the Hayward.


Banners are a visual representation of people's aspirations. They are


quite grand really, in their aim, and they are a visual thing, so


they, the whole of it, you know in a eight foot by six foot square,


they are showing the hopes and fears of a group of people. I think


the reason we have collaborated so long is the subject matter of what


I do. Jeremy's interested in social history and contemporary life, and


I am making things that directly relate to it. He is interested in


the human condition, when people combine together, what they can


achieve. That is part of his method of working. What you doing here? We


showed some of Ed's banners at Tate Britain if 2000. We did a


retrospective of the banners which went to Paris, about 60 or so, that


was fantastic. From there, I bothered Ed for the last 12 years


to do things we many and work on projects. I think what is


interesting about banners, when you hold a banner or march behind one


you are telling people what you believe in. It is good to see that


in public. Ed makes politics look good and he brings beauty to these


causes and hope, through that Bute ty. All those ideas, all very ideal


lis tick and of course, you can laugh at them and so on, but if you


bring hope through art or beauty and comfort, through these banner,


that is a great achievement Ed is doing banner force the exhibition.


One is based on those signs you see outside church hauls that have an


art exhibition for a day or weekend, and you go this with high hopes and


you leave deflated. Which terrible because people are going to go in


with low hopes to my show and come out inflated. And then inside,


there is a banner entitled My Failures, which is a section of the


show. Which I find hard to understand that one. There we gro.


It will all be explained. These are things that are failures because I


never got to do them I thought they would be good. Which all artists


have those, so, that is what I tried to do. It is a massive


section of the show. It is 90% of the show! You should carry on with


your work. I don't know why you are The biggest collaboration I have


done with Ed was for a procession I was asked to do something for a


public event and I thought I would make a procession about the town.


As a way of showing the town to itself, really. And elements of the


town I thought was interesting and I liked. Ed made all the banners to


introduce each section, and the banners were almost like titling.


They were like inter-titles on something. Emos, goths, kids. Guys


with modified cars. Big Issue sellers. And then you have carnival


queens. A lot of traditional things but also unusual things. So, in a


way, it was about the public life of the town shown again in public


We took a tea bar from Bury and put it in the possession on a float. It


must have been quite difficult when he walks up to a tea bar in Bury


and says, "Oh, by the way, I want to make a facsimile of your bar and


take it on a float." It's connecting with people in a way


that they are actually enjoying it and entertained. And there's all


these other things going on as well. He's making all these amazing kind


of cultural connections. I always believed that the last float in any


possession should be a steel band. And, for my procession, I wanted


one playing music made in # "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy


Andy was contacted to do this arrangement but also to get the


I remember very clearly meeting him and giving him this assignment,


effectively. And then coming back about three weeks later and walking


up the stairs and they had a small band playing music and I couldn't


believe it. I thought it was amazing. I had this idea and


someone to help me realise it like that, literally, a tears your eyes


moment when they were playing their songs together for the first time.


It was kind of a worry, as well, because you told me what songs you


wanted and that. But to get my take on it and not destroy them too much,


that was my big worry, that you would come back and think, "Oh,


wow." When you said you liked it, I We've never really played this type


of music before. We've always done Caribbean stuff. It's certainly


different what we normally do but it's in keeping with the fact we


try to be as versatile as possible, anyway. I've never played rock


before but it was a nice change. I like it, the vibe, have a little


dance. I get into anything with music. If I don't dance, I just


rock my head. I like music. I wanted to work with a steel band


for years and years. It's a sort of mini dream come true, really. And


that's the great thing about being an artist. You can have an idea,


and somebody might actually do it for you. I'm over the moon where


Jeremy is concerned. Having us within his work. He's lovely. We


like Jeremy. Very down-to-earth. He For me, art has always been a


series of opportunities that I can try and exploit, really. And so


this exhibition is about a series of opportunities I have been given


or I have given myself throughout the years. And I think I saw that


when I went to the factory when I was 20. When I saw how it worked.


And realised that he just made the most of his opportunities and he


created his own world around that. In this show there is film work.


There is very small work, Then there is work which is


collaborative involving lots of people. So, there's all different


kinds of work here. Which maybe show the breadth of what I'm


capable of. Or incapable of, probably more to the point. It's


not just old work in the show. There's quite a lot of new work and


one of which is a film about the I could be a tulip. I could be a


man. The only way of knowing is to catch me if you can. You may


suppose what you want to suppose but I'm a sweet transvestite with a


broken nose. I was made aware of Adrian Street


quite recently through a quite shocking photograph of him and his


father. I thought that photograph summed up so much about post-war


Britain. And as soon as I saw that photograph I thought, I wonder if


that person is still around. It would be amazing to meet and talk


about the picture itself and get a clearer idea of who he was and what


He just had this almost Dickensian life in terms of growing up in a


very tough part of South Wales in the valleys. Becoming a miner,


because he had to, basically. Running away from home to London at


the age of 16. Becoming a body builder, a pin-up. Then he became a


And so, that photograph was revenge. It's him, Adrian, going back to the


pit where he worked and had been bullied and teased and laughed at,


to show his father and the other guys in the pit, the ones behind


his father, what he had made of himself. And how proud he was of


how he looked. He's looking amazing and he knows he looks amazing. And


these guys are just covered in coal dust and crap, you know. They look


like from another world, from the Middle Ages. Here he is like


someone from the future, coming to show them what the future could be


like. It's fantastic. And he did it because he hated them which makes


it even better. It wasn't cos he liked these people. He absolutely


despised them and he wanted to show He's an incredible guy. I don't


even think he knows how incredible he is, in a way. He thinks he's


amazing and he is. But he's amazing for other reasons, as well. The


journey he took, the route he took in his life, it's incredibly


important. And symbolic of the route Britain was trying to take at


the same time to go from a country which relied on industry to one


which essentially relied on entertainment and services. And


basically he was a trailblazer for that route. All I do with this now


is that, that, and that. And pop it over the way there for my wife,


A lot of people could say about what's in my exhibition and things


I do, "That's not art because it's a nature film. It's not art because


it's a documentary. This that and the other. It's a piece of music."


But I think you should look at it in a different way and say music


can be an art work, good documentary is an art work. And


definitely nature films are artworks. So I'm reflecting maybe


on my view of that. So maybe they are not art. It doesn't matter.


It's still there and you can still appreciate it. Don't get worried


about terms of what is and isn't art. It's a terrible cul-de-sac,


basically. A dead end you find yourself in and there's no way out


of it. So the thing to do is just enjoy it for what it is.


So the last piece of work in the exhibition is the film of the bats.


That's the newest piece of work. But before I show it at the Hayward,


I want to show it at my primary school. Earlier on this year they


named a house after me in the primary school with my full name


which is quite funny. So these poor kids have been branded by me, so I


thought I might show them the film, to say thanks for the branding


You know, I came here about a year ago, wasn't it? Were you here then?


We talked about bats and you all seemed very excited about that so I


thought what I would do today is come back with a film I've made and


show it to you first before I show it to anyone else. And when you


come and see it at the Hayward Gallery, you can see it in 3D. You


have got a question. Why do you love bats so much? I love bats


because they are the only mammals that can fly. They look amazing and


they have the ability to see in the dark. They are very, very clever.


What do they eat? Spiders. Moths. They like mosquitoes, little flies.


This young man with the glasses? the cave, were there mountains of


poo and stuff and cockroaches? know what, in the cave, there are


mountains of poo like this. And on the poo, there are little maggots


and beetles. And they are all moving around. And if a bat falls


off, he gets killed by the maggots and beetles. They eat it. It's


really grim. So, this is the world premiere of


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