The Uses of Literacy is a key early work where Deller uses his frequently employed strategy of working with particular interest groups and communities.

Deller advertised in the music paper Melody Maker for material from fans of the Welsh band The Manic Street Preachers. The work consists of an informal 'display' of paintings, collages, drawings, books, poetry and ephemera donated by the fans. The installation examines the relationship between the fan and the performer, and questions notions of authorship and authenticity by reversing the usual hierarchical order and placing the work of amateurs in the gallery. The Arts Council Collection aims to be a repository of notable early works by outstanding British artists.


Cabinet Gallery; Philips, 2008; The Modern Institute.

Back to top