Jeremy Deller: Father and Son

6 Nov–6 Nov 2021

St Saviour's Church of Exiles, 6 Oxford Street, Collingwood VC 3066

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So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise”.

— John 5:19

ACCA is excited to present the first Australian commission by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller as a one-day only off-site project in an ecclesiastical setting.

Jeremy Deller’s Father and Son is a time-based sculptural installation which takes the form of public vigil, as an invitation for the public to bear witness to, and reflect upon, questions of power, influence and generational change, represented through the allegorical depiction of a father and son, cast in the soft light of remembrance.

Father and Son is presented at an historical moment of social change, in which existing power structures are increasingly being scrutinised as part of public discourse. Through the lens of art history, religion and popular culture, Father and Son explores questions of generational change, and the legacies we leave for future generations.

Of the new work Jeremy Deller has said: “The bible has been the greatest inspiration in making this work with its stories of conflict, families and transformation. It’s a book I absorbed as a child and since then I seem to have spent most of my life wandering around churches and museums. To me in some ways they are interchangeable spaces, in which the boundary between the sacred and profane is blurred”.

Max Delany, ACCA Artistic Director/CEO, said: “ACCA is delighted to be working with Jeremy Deller on the artist’s latest work, an ambitious, one-day only sculptural installation to be presented in a deconsecrated church in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. Deller’s works have consistently redefined the role and form of contemporary art and have engaged some of the most important contemporary issues of our times. While often ephemeral in nature, in the form of performances and one-off events, his projects endure through the conversations, imagination and the resonant engagement they evoke”.

Following an extended period of dialogue with the artist, Annika Kristensen, ACCA’s Curator-at-Large says: “It has been a true pleasure to work with Jeremy Deller to realise this project, which welcomes visitors to contemplate a moment of profound generational, social and structural change. Situated in an ecclesiastical context, the work pays tribute to institutions larger than the individuals represented as father and son – including religion, media, politics and family – calling into question our own relationship to such systems, while encouraging reflection upon our individual agency in the world.”

Jeremy Deller is a Turner Prize-winning artist working across video, sculpture, installation and events. Father and Son is a major time-based sculptural work and the artist’s first commission in Australia. It follows Deller’s long history of internationally renowned projects across video, sculpture, installation and events, including We’re here because we’re here 2016, a commemorative event that took place across Britain on the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and The Battle of Orgreave 2001, a site-specific performance that recreated the clash between police and miners during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85. In 2013, Deller represented Great Britain with the exhibition English Magic at the 55th Venice Biennale, following the career retrospective Joy in People, presented at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2012.

Find out more about Jeremy Deller through our selection of podcasts and videos below. 

Documentary for The Culture Show, BBC2

Jeremy Deller on Screen Life, Contemporary Art Society

Jeremy Deller on Venice Biennale Exhibition, British Council

Interview on Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4

Great Lives: Jeremy Deller on Brian Epstein, BBC4

Jeremy Deller on Vision of Sound

Jeremy Deller on the Suite


Jeremy Deller