Jeremy Deller has earned a reputation for creating transient, sometimes absurd, works that stage social and political happenings to highlight the importance of memory and fluidity of human action. In 2001 Deller collaborated with miners and policemen in Orgreave, UK to re-stage the 1984 – 1985 clashes between the two parties. On the conflicts of creating The Battle of Orgreave, Deller says: “some people would just see that as wrong – to expect former miners to relive this terrible moment in their lives and in the history of mining in Britain. Often what I ask people to do might seem a bit, well, ‘wrong’ is probably the best word really… It’s the way you handle it that makes it OK”.
Winner of the 2004 Turner Prize, Deller navigates these tensions with an open, generous and collaborative approach. His 2009 work It Is What It Is: Conversations about Iraq, commissioned by Creative Time, had him traveling around the United States in a car destroyed by a bomb in Baghdad, inviting journalists, Iraqi refugees, soldiers and scholars to share their experiences.