Jeremy Deller, Acid Brass, 1997

“Based on the connections I made in The History of the World, I decided to try to get a brass band to agree to perform a repertoire of acid house music. I was terrified of ringing up the bandleader of the Williams Fairey Band to ask if he would do this. I thought it would take lots of convincing and explaining – but he agreed immediately. He just said, “All right, we’ll do it. We’ll do it once and see how it goes”, Which is exactly the attitude you want. So we performed it once, and it went really well, and we continued to perform it. The experience taught me a lot about working with the public. I realised that I didn’t have to make objects anymore. I could just do these sort of events, make things happen, work with people and enjoy it. I could do these messy, free-ranging, open-ended projects, and that freed me up from thinking about being an artist in a traditional sense. I had been liberated by a brass band.”

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