neil cummings

February 2012

Deller and Marx

15 May 2006


Below is an short extract from A Shadow of Marx a chapter I wrote in 2004 for  Companion to Contemporary Art Since 1945 edited by Prof. Amelia Jones. The publication has an innovative structure, it mixes thematic sections with historical overviews, and is intended as a student 'primer'. This text looks through particular artworks to illuminate legacies of Marxist theory..............

A Shadow of Marx


Ms ChanIts June 16th 2001, and I'm standing behind a rope barrier with a crowd of people in a sloping field, on the edge of a village in Orgreave, South Yorkshire, England. On the other side of the rope are hundreds of people practicing how to perform a running battle. They shout at each other; one side charges and the other retreats, and then vice versa. Some are dressed as police officers. I can see riot gear, shields, snarling dogs and even horses, the others, the civilians, are all men dressed in slightly out of date clothing, from around the 1980s. A voice comes over a loudspeaker system and a number of small two-person film crews with digital cameras mingle with the participants.