The band performed in the parade Deller was commissioned to create for the 2009 Manchester International Festival, and is shown on video here. Deller helped the community develop the lineup: bagpipers, a float commemorating a local diner, smokers, moms pushing strollers, goths, furry sports mascots, a factory float carrying the last mill workers, and hearses with flowers in tongue-in-cheek mourning of lost enterprises: the wigan casino, the corn exchange, and so on.
Deller's art falls under the umbrella of relational aesthetics, the classic example of which is Rirkrit Tiravanija cooking meals for gallery visitors and inviting them to strike up a conversation with fellow guests. It's about building community, one meal at a time. Deller often has bigger, more blatantly political aims. His past projects include a 2001 reenactment of a notorious 1984 clash between striking British coal miners and police. The reenactment was part-therapy and part-exorcism, providing an occasion for the audience and those performing (including some original participants) to reconsider the traumatic event that lead to the closure of the mines and depression of surrounding communities.
Parades are ways communities come together to proclaim their values, to clown, to flirt, to shatter the usual decorum, to celebrate, to mourn. They can be as rich as any art, but they don't often appear on the art world's radar. Deller is sensitive to the ways communities reveal their souls in their music and public spectacles. And he uses the parade, tweaked slightly, to mourn Manchester's losses while also broadcasting its joy.
: Museum And Gallery
, Museums, Rhode Island School of Design, Jeremy Deller, More