What is the City but the People? was created from an idea by Jeremy Deller and is a celebration of the people who make up the fabric of the place we are situated in. Raised above the pavements, citizens walk a 60m catwalk backed by live music, large scale projected photographs and text, making a unique portrait of people and place.
A work of the people by the people for the people, Director Richard Gregory works with a local team to showcase the story, sentiments and soul of the city. The work involves around 150 members of the community, new music by local musicians, a local photography and video team, a local writer and interview team and a local dramaturg. This project is especially suited to be an Opening/ Closing event for venues and festivals who want to deepen their relationships with their local community.
Premiered at MIF17: 29 Jun 2017
15 September 2018
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with Centraal Museum Utrecht and SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Utrecht
4 May 2019
29 June 2021
1 October 2023
This is a beautifully simple idea from Deller... a piece tapping deep into the power of public spaces to generate fleeting human connections between strangers. For many participants, it was more than a parade: it was an act of self-affirmation.
A platform that normally celebrates superficial appearance is instead used to celebrate the everyday brilliance and resilience of the people of the city. And it’s more beautiful than any fashion show. Beautiful, heartwarming and life-affirming.
From an idea by Jeremy Deller
Richard Gregory Director
Simon Banham Designer
Graham Massey Musical Director
Sonia Hughes Writer
Gavin Parry Photographer