PHIL COLLINS: A LEARNING SITE at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Massachusetts

Phil Collins, the meaning of style (still), 2011.
Video, 4:50 minutes.
Courtesy Shady Lane Productions, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.


The multilayered practice of British artist Phil Collins is the focus of a constellation of curatorial and academic activities at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts this spring dedicated to exhibiting, experiencing, studying, and analyzing the work of one of contemporary art’s most engaging voices. 

Collins has consistently pushed the boundaries of art and documentary filmmaking from filming teenagers in Bogotá, Jakarta, and Istanbul singing an entire album of songs by The Smiths; to working with young anti-fascist skinheads in Malaysia; to employing a cast of actors, porn workers, and musicians to host an alternative shopping channel broadcast live on German television; to making a cinematic love letter to the city of Glasgow. He thoughtfully conceives frameworks or situations that weave our shared realities and everyday life together with fiction and uncertainty. Viewers are reminded of the persuasive force of popular culture on seemingly disparate peoples and places, while questioning global dispersion of Western images, fashion, music, media, and advertising.

Phil Collins: A Learning Site will feature a series of public seminars, screenings and a video installation, and conclude with a weeklong residency and public talk by the artist. Organized in conjunction with a course in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University taught by James Voorhies, the John R. and Barbara Robinson Director of the Carpenter Center, Phil Collins: A Learning Site merges the public sphere of the exhibition model with the intimacy, intellectual rigor, social engagement, and critical reflection of an academic seminar. The aim is to focus on and think through as a community the impact of this singular artist within the context of recent art history and contemporary culture.

Modules of Phil Collins: A Learning Site 

Sert Gallery, Level 3
March 2–April 17: the meaning of style (2011), 4:50 minutes

Public screenings
Lecture Hall, Level 0
March 24, 5:30pm: dunia tak akan mendengar [the world won't listen] (2007), 56 minutes
March 31, 6pm: This Unfortunate Thing Between Us (2011), 2 x 60 minutes with interval.

Public screening + artist talk
Lecture Hall, Level 0
April 7, 6pm: Tomorrow Is Always Too Long (2014), 82 minutes

Open seminars
Sert Gallery, Level 3
March 24, 7–8:30pm
April 21, 6–7:30pm

Sert practitioner residency
April 3–9

Phil Collins & Siniša Mitrović Select organized with Harvard Film Archive
Lecture Hall, Level 0
April 8, 7pm
Power (Vlatko Gilić, 1974), 34 minutes
Tito Among the Serbs For the Second Time (Želimir Žilnik, 1993), 45 minutes

April 8, 9pm
The Psychic Parrot (Derek Lamb, 1977), 20 minutes
Television: The Enchanted Mirror (Julene Bair, George Csicsery, 1981), 28 minutes
The War Game (Peter Watkins, 1966), 49 minutes
Evidence (Godfrey Reggio, 1995), 8 minutes


Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University –24 Quincy Street Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 United States
2 March – 21 April, 2016