After the Gold Rush

Jeremy Deller, After the Gold Rush, front and back cover
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After the gold rush / Jeremy Deller.

By Jeremy Deller. San Francisco: CCAC Wattis Institute, 2002.

In 2001, British artist Jeremy Deller received a residency from the CCAC Wattis Institute in San Francisco. He applied his honorarium toward a used Jeep and five acres of land in the Mojave Desert for $2000, thereby staking his own claim upon the Golden State. His fellowship resulted in an unorthodox but compelling guidebook tracing California’s history from the 19th-century mining boom to the post-dot-com recession, as found along its dusty highways and in its roadside museums. Through anecdotes, interviews, photographs, and audio recordings, Deller explores the people who make up the fabric of California, from former Black Panthers to aging strippers. “The book is more about the people than the places. It’s literally a tour of people: You can meet the folks I’ve met….You forget a landscape, but you don’t forget the people," says Deller (Artforum, November 2002, 171). The book includes a companion CD. Deller's work was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2014, and the artist generously signed the library’s copy of his book. The Hirshhorn Library marked the occasion by profiling After the Gold Rush on the Smithsonian Libraries’ blog, Unbound.

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