All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

North West Film Archive

That genius of juxtaposition, Jeremy Deller, has applied his unique and oblique talents to the Industrial Revolution and its impact on British popular culture, curating a good deal of archive film into the mix.

The Hayward Gallery commissioned Deller to curate a touring exhibition and All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is the result, opening to wide critical acclaim on 12th October at Manchester Art Gallery. Working with the richness of the content and knowledge at many local archives and museums, Deller presents his take on an amazing array of contemporary music, film and photography alongside a vast range of 19th and 20th century images and objects.

The North West Film Archive was thrilled to be working with Jeremy again, after the Manchester International Festival’s 2011 commission, Procession, which may well have sparked his interest in the Industrial Revolution. Early film footage evoking the mills, workers and landscapes of the period is, fortunately, well-represented in the NWFA collection, so the artist was not disappointed. And when looking for footage specifically from 1973 to accompany a song written in 1873 about the future, there was an abundance to choose from. All readily made available as digital files of course!

The All That Is Solid Melts Into Air film occupies a room of its own within the Gallery – a very large-scale projection, showing just how fantastic 8mm original film can look!   Made with the assistance of BBC Newsnight, who also broadcast a ‘making of’ story, it combines contributions from Maxine Peake, Noddy Holder Jarvis Cocker, and schoolchildren, reading contemporary personal accounts of life and work in this turbulent time.  The film and the Newsnight broadcast are on the BBC website, and the exhibition will be at Manchester Art Gallery until 19th Jan, when it will go on tour to Nottingham, Warwick and Newcastle during 2014.  Don’t miss it!