Goldsmiths Curatorial Critique

The Posters Came from the Walls – A film by Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams, Prince Charles cinema, 17/10/2009

Posted in Reviews by zoecharaktinou on October 21, 2009
Still from the film courtesy of the directors

Still from the film courtesy of the directors


In St. Petersburg, Russia it is the 9th of May – Victory Day, a major holiday that marks the victory over Nazi Germany. It is also Dave Gahan’s – Depeche Mode’s lead singer – birthday. A large group of Depeche Mode fans are gathered amongst the rest of the peopl who are out to observe the military parades. They are so proud of the coincidence and they celebrate Gahan’s birthday with such fervour as the rest of the country’s who is celebrating winning World War II, declaring it ‘Dave Day’. They have their own banners and the hold their own parade, singing proudly. One of the Russian fans declares: “We are Depeche-ist. Like Communist, like Fascist”.

Depeche Mode are one of the most popular, succesful and influential bands of the last thirty years. They have a sacred status amongst both devoted fans and your average music listener. In their hometown of Basildon, Essex they are not known much today, not really and they never had a number 1 in the UK, however they have touched so many other places in almost undefinable but definitely diverse ways, as revealed by Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams’ film ‘The Posters Came from the Walls’. A film, shot exclusively on video, about the fans of Depeche Mode, it sets out to observe the effect that the band has had on people over the years. Their journey takes them – and us – around the world, in order to meet people who testify of their faith and devotion to Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher.

I woke up early on a Saturday morning in anticipation and made my way to Leicester Square’s Prince Charles cinema for 10:30am where I would have the opportunity to watch this film. I have seen Depeche Mode live and I know of countless people who love them and enjoy their music. All these fans who I know personally and who are currently travelling around Europe to see Depeche Mode live, were on my mind whilst waiting to watch the film. The atmosphere was almost celebratory in the auditorium making the experience even more intense.