British installation, video, and Performance artist, born in London. He studied history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art (see Courtauld), where he specialized in Baroque festivities and became especially interested in the idea of art as communication. His work has been in various media but has been centred on an almost anthropological exploration of communities through their histories and artefacts. His best-known work, The Battle of Orgreave (2001), was the re-creation of a violent conflict between miners and police which took place during the 1984 strike. This was staged in the manner that historic battles such as those of the English Civil War are re-created by re-enactment societies. Miners and policemen involved in the original event took part and it was filmed for television, but the highly polemical tone of the film, directed by Mike Figgis, was somewhat at odds with the more conciliatory intentions of Deller's event, which took place in an atmosphere something akin to a village fête, with police and miners exchanging roles. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003.
C. Bishop, ‘The social turn: collaboration and its discontents’, Artforum International (February 2006)