jeremy deller - the battle of orgreave
18 Nov 2004

Jeremy Dellers 'The Battle of Orgreave' will be shown on November 18 as part of SMCS on 11 in Stedelijk Museum CS.

Entrance free
Starting 8.30 p.m.
English spoken 

The projects of Jeremy Deller frequently seem rather straightforward, but in fact all his installations and videos are actually multi-layered and always contain a message.

In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute lasted for over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike of 1926, marking a turning point in the struggle between the government and the trade union movement. On the 18 June 1984 there occurred at the Orgreave coking plant one of the strike's most violent confrontations, begun in a field near to the plant and culminating in a cavalry charge through the village of Orgreave.

This violent confrontation is central in Deller's The Battle of Orgreave. The artist formed a spectacular re-enactment of what happened on that day. Ex-miners and members of the constabulary who had participated in the original incident, were also part of the re-enactment crew. Dramatic photographic stills from the clashes in 1984 are intercut with footage of the clashes re-enacted in 2001 fusing fact and fiction, but also emphasizing the contrast between them. Deller maintained that his interest was less in the actual re-enactment than in bringing about a long-overdue dialogue about the original event.

With his film Deller wanted to draw attention to what actually happened that day and indicate its relevance. During the film a former miner and serving policeman on the field that day, reveals details about the build-up within the police force prior to the stand-off. David Douglass (NUM) talks about the meaning of the confrontation in relation to the trade union movement in England and Stephanie Gregory reminisces about the effects on family life.
The media's role in covering up the truth about the strike in 1984 is also discussed and Jeremy Deller contextualizes this event and highlights its contemporary cultural relevance.

Jeremy Deller (1996) is nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize 2004. His work is shown in Tate Britain till December 23, 2004. The Battle of Orgreave was filmed under the direction of Mike Figgis for Artangel Media and Channel 4, and was aired on Sunday 20th October 2002. 

SMCS on 11
SMCS on 11 is a programme of lectures, discussions, film and video presentations by Stedelijk Museum CS. The ‘11’ refers to the 11th storey of the Post CS building, where most of the activities take place. The regular evening is Thursday. The Museum itself is open to 9:00 p.m. that day.

Reservations at
Tel. 020-5732.911 daily from 10.00 am. till 6.00 pm.