Magazine article The Spectator

Lost in Translation

Magazine article The Spectator

Lost in Translation

Article excerpt

At the Venice Biennale last year, Jeremy Deller presented English Magic in the Br it i sh Pav i l ion . It wa s an agg re s s ive look at contempora r y Br ita in and featu red prote st a r t based on socialist politics. It's fitting, then, that the show has transferred to the Wi l l iam Mor r i s ga l ler y in Wa ltham stow ; no doubt the libertarian socialist would be proud to see Deller's work displayed in his old house. Despite thoughtful intentions, though , the t ran s fer doe sn't qu ite work , and Del ler 's a r t seem s uncomfortable in its new setting.

The mural depicting Morris in the Venetian lagoon, clutching Roman Abramovich's enormous yacht (above), makes little impact.

It 's meant to be an acerbic statement about the One Per Cent , but here the syrupy colours, mythical theme and proximity to the bustling cafe make it feel more like a pacifying decoration for a creche . …

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