Deptford X wanted to produce a book to celebrate their tenth anniversary.
With a small budget but a fantastic story to tell, I pulled together a tight team
and co-published this spirited little book with them which was distributed by
Thames & Hudson.
Deptford X is honourable, healthy and fun;
a totally non-damaging way of having art and
creativity in the community.
— Matthew Collings
The past decade has seen a massive growth in arts festivals, to the point where
almost no city would be without one – yet few have had the impact of Deptford
X. Many of the hottest names in the contemporary art world — including Dan
Graham, Miltos Manteas, Stephen Pippin, Bernadette Corporation, Simon Starling,
Julian Opie — have been drawn to its unique atmosphere, and even launched
their careers here. Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, this book takes a look
the festival’s achievements so far, as well as its role in the redevelopment of this
vibrant corner of Southeast London. After an introduction by the renowned critic
Matthew Collings, in which he casts an eye over the area and its history, your
guide to the wonderful world of art festivals is acclaimed artist Bob and Roberta
Smith. His insightful and frequently amusing observations have been arranged
into a 23-point manifesto of how to — and how not to — organise your own
festival. Topics covered include the role of the artist in contemporary society,
art education, renewal through art, whether anybody really wants to be the new
Hoxton, why the YBAs had to go, and the sheer hard work that goes into keeping
it all on the road. Illustrated throughout with works from past exhibitors, this
book is a must-read for all those who love (or even hate) arts festivals, as well
as all anyone who have ever worked with artists, is an artist, or is even thinking
of becoming one.