Friday, 7 February 2014, 24:00 | midnight

#52: Phil Collins

Hav­ing grown up in the North of Eng­land in the 70s and 80s, Phil Collins has al­ways had a pas­sio­nate in­ter­est in mu­sic, tele­vi­sion and pop­u­lar cul­ture. In his films, pho­to­graphs and live events, he in­vesti­gates the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the cam­era and its sub­jects, and the af­fec­tive po­ten­tial of vari­ous re­cord­ing me­dia in their ev­ery­day con­text. Collins’ prac­tice is fo­cused on close en­gage­ment with peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties, which over the years have in­clud­ed, amongst others, dis­co-danc­ing Pales­ti­nians, fans of The Smiths over three conti­nents, and teach­ers of Marx­ism-Lenin­ism in the former DDR. The pro­jects are of­ten an­nounced through news­pa­per ads and poster cam­paigns, or take the form of cast­ings and press con­fer­ences, so as to pro­vide a wide-reach­ing plat­form for en­coun­ters pred­i­cat­ed on high emo­tio­n­al stakes. Through­out, Collins’ work re­flects his com­mit­ment to myri­ad forms of ex­pe­ri­ence across the so­cial spec­trum, and his be­lief in the pow­er of in­ti­ma­cy and de­sire within the public sphere. – Anna Brohm: Phil Collins. In every dream home a heartache, Museum Ludwig Cologne, April 18 – Ju­ly 21, 2013

Phil Collins presents in a kind of double feature (with a short interval) two complete episodes of the original:

This Unfortunate Thing Between Us (TUTBU), 2011, 120:00 min

TUTBU is an alternative shopping channel selling real life experiences in place of the standard fare of cheap jewellery, lawnmowers and fitness equipment. Viewers are offered the chance to buy an experience and enact it live on stage the following night. First performed in Berlin over two consecutive evenings at Hebbel am Ufer Theatre, the programme was broadcast live on German television, temporarily transforming ZDFkultur into TUTBU.TV.

On the first night a cast of actors demonstrated a selection of three experiences at the promotional price of €9.99 each — with a special discount for the unemployed, pensioners and students. Based on imaginary German fantasies, the offers included a Stasi-style interrogation, a role in a period-drama porn scene, or a death in a hospital bed surrounded by family and friends. The evening was structured through pitches and live phone-ins, and soundtracked by the in-house band featuring Welsh pop star Gruff Rhys and surf band Y Niwl.

On the second night the experiences were again brought to life, this time with three lucky buyers who had been selected to appear on stage in the leading roles. Exploring the as yet untapped potential of teleshopping, TUTBU.TV offers a glimpse into what could be the future of consumer television.

Starring: Matthias Matschke, Julia Hummer, Trystan Pütter, Susanne Sachsse, Sharon Smith, Niels Bormann, Judy Minx, Pau Pappel, Christian Kärgel, Marcel Schlutt, Pegah Ferydoni, and members of the public

Music: Gruff Rhys & Y Niwl


Phil Collins (b. 1970 in Runcorn, England) grew up in the North of England. He studied at the University of Manchester, from which he graduated in 1994 (BA English Literature and BA Drama), and University of Ulster in Belfast, from which he graduated in 1999 (MA Fine Art). During this time he worked different jobs, including a cloakroom boy and pint-puller at the Hacienda nightclub, a bingo caller, a lecturer in performance and film theory, a high-street photo lab assistant, and a secretary at the Big Issue magazine for the homeless. Throughout the second half of the 1990s he was a member of London-based performance group Max Factory whose live art projects reached all corners of the UK and beyond.

Collins received Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts in 2001, and was nominated for Artes Mundi Prize in 2012 and Turner Prize in 2006. He has completed a number of international residencies, including DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm in Berlin, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem, and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. .

Solo exhibitions of Collins’ work have been presented in venues around the world, including the British Film Institute (2014), Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin, Germany (2014), Glasgow Film Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland (2014), Museum Ludwig in Cologne (2013); British Film Institute in London (2011); Tramway in Glasgow (2009); Aspen Art Museum in Colorado (2008); Dallas Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa (all 2007); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Tate Britain in London (both 2006); and Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH (2005).

Collins’ work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions at institutions such as Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven; New Museum in New York; Beirut Art Center; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo; Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; Hayward Gallery in London; and Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna.