Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
Lower Level Floor Plan
English Magic (2012) by Jeremy Deller (British, b. London, 1966) is an idiosyncratic collective portrait of Britishness that stretches from the ancient to the contemporary and asks how “consumerism, technology, and the new monotony of work” have altered the experience of nature, culture, and history. At the same time, the film’s captivating and sometimes bewildering imagery allows for open-ended interpretation. The eclectic quality of the piece, incorporating folk and vernacular objects and topics, as well as the use of musicians, specialized technicians, and “average people” as actors and participants is characteristic of the artist’s expansive filmmaking process.