The Null Device

Memory Bucket

Jeremy Deller, one of the masterminds behind Acid Brass, has won the Turner Prize, with a video exploring Crawford, Texas and the Branch Davidian siege in nearby Waco. Deller is also known for staging a re-enactment of a battle of the 1984 miner's strike (using former miners to play riot police), placing ads containing Smiths lyrics in the Guardian's Valentines pages, installing a mirrorball in the "vilest alley in Liverpool", and various objects to commemorate ordinary lives and deaths; he is now planning a nationwide exhibition of spray-painted cars, gurning competitions, crop circles and other folk art.

Meanwhile, Momus weighs in, comparing Deller's socially-aware art with the terminally conservative and staid nature of rock, in particular, the rigidly formulaic variety that graces the pages of NME:

UK rock and pop awards in 2004 showed pop music, and specifically rock, to be in a terminally mannerist and museumlike place; dead, irrelevant, tongue-in-cheek, out of touch with contemporary events, as conservative and hung up on the past as opera or classical music at their most decadent, smug, pastichey and tribute-ridden. Awards like the Brits and the NME Carling this year went to sadly Spinal Tappish bands like The Darkness, The Libertines and Kings of Leon, whose moronic-ironic pomo neo-primal rockism seemed to narrow the world down to retro-reverence and in-joke tribute-nudges to rock's heyday, the 1970s (did I mention that satanist-turned-celebrity dad Ozzy Osbourne won the NME's 'Godlike genius award'?).

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