Sacrilege 2012

2012-6-22

Jeremy Deller raises a practical question. Are we going to do Stonehenge tomorrow?

Having caught Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to see Deller's current installation when it arrived in Greenwich. Sacrilege 2012 is currently on tour across the UK, and is making a number of stops around London over the next few days.

It consists of a bouncy castle in the shape of Stonehenge, and it's big enough for a whole coven of druids to jump around on. Sacrilege is brilliant fun for pagans and non-pagans alike, and for people of all ages: kids, teens, parents and grandparents were all having a go. It's officially supported by the Mayor of London, too.

Deller is an expert at creating experiences, but there is always political subtext to his work. In this case, its obviously the 2012 Olympic Games which are looming over London this weekend like an curse. Sacrilege addresses the way Britishness is packaged and presented for mass consumption. "No Human Sacrifice" read the official rules for the inflatable henge - perhaps a comment on the way the public face of The Games glosses over the darker side of Britain.

The strength of Deller's work is how he embeds his serious messages in joyful experiences. The medicine comes with more than a meagre spoonful of sugar, its a hearty scoop. Asking whether people might miss Deller's purpose is akin to asking if the people who watch Batman films are aware that they are all about George W. Bush. Clearly, you can reach out to many more people than would otherwise be the case. So damn right, we're doing Stonehenge.

Sacrilege 2012 is around London until the 11th of August, and around the UK until the 9th of September.


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