BERLIN.- The films and film installations, photographs and performances of the British artist Phil Collins are humorous and serious, emotional and complex at same time. His interest lies in cultural anthropology and political phenomena and their symptomatic manifestations, i.e., in popular culture or in the way language is used. Collinss 3-channel film installation The World Wont Listen serves as a good example of this when Collins offers up a stage to fans of the British pop band The Smiths from Columbia, Indonesia and Turkey. They sing the karaoke version of songs from the eponymously named Smiths album, which was cult in the 1980s -- not only for subversive teenagers in Thatchers United Kingdom.
As part of the Berlin International Film Festivals program Forum Expanded and parallel to Phil Collinss curated project Auto-Kino! in the Temporary Kunsthalle Berlin (from 5 February 2010) the daadgalerie will be presenting Collins most recent film soy mi madre (I am my mother) (2008, 16mm/DVD, 28min) for which the artist hijacks the ubiquitously popular telenovela format. Filmed in Mexico City with well-known TV actors, Collins translation of the Latin American variant of the soap opera falls into a hyperdynamic, jarring melodrama with opulent sets in which the archetypical identity patterns of the genre are sharpened to a point. Collins alludes to the romantic stereotypical telenovela of the 1980s and 90s at its high point, and where underlying music and facial expressions play a leading role.
The daily broadcast TV-novel is famous for creating strong moments of identification which occasionally have lead to the spectators mingling of the fictional reality with daily life outside of the media. Earlier works of Collins also deal with the effects of the media on the consumers life; for example, his project for the Turner Prize Exhibition in 2006 Return of the Real a press conference with victims of reality-TV shows in the UK.
A real dramas collision with its communicative effects through the media coverage were the events of 9/11. In Phil Collinss early and rarely shown video hero (2002, DVD, 40min) a New York reporter stands in front of the camera delivering his own personal version of the events of September 11, 2001 as if freely associating or undertaking a talking cure, albeit assisted by alcohol. Together both soy mi madre and its counterpoint hero make reference to the late 1990s in the USA and the following Bush years and their reflection in the media.
A commission of the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, soy mi madre will be soon broadcast on local television there. Simultaneous to the exhibition at the daadgalerie, an accompanying catalog to the exhibition by the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, will be published.
Phil Collins, born in Runcorn, UK, in 1970, was a guest of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm/ DAAD in 2009. In 2010 he will participate in the 6th Berlin Biennial. In 2009 in a one-person-show at the Tramway in Glasgow he presented the project The world wont listen which he started in 2005 at the Istanbul Biennial. In 2006 he was nominated for the Turner Prize. Since the late 1990s Collins has participated in numerous international group and solo-exhibitions, for example, at the Tate Britain und Tate Modern, at CAC Vilnius, P.S.1 New York, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, SFMoMA, Aspen Art Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Stedelijk Museum, Frankfurter Kunstverein and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Phil Collins lives and works in Berlin.