Phil Collins the world won’t listen

The new Phil Collins’s exhibition at Marabouparken is a good chance to show a clip from the many recordings of the video installation the world won’t listen by the audience.

Collins often works in socially and politically contested regions, employing elements of popular culture, low-budget television and reportage-style documentary to articulate a form of critical proximity to contemporary media—both a fascination with and wariness of the ways in which they structure the lived experience itself.

For the exhibition at Marabouparken, Collins will present his acclaimed three-part video installation the world won’t listen. Filmed in Colombia, Turkey and Indonesia, the trilogy features fans of the influential indie-rock band The Smiths performing karaoke versions of tracks from their 1987 compilation album of the same name. Collins first began work on the world won’t listen in 2004 in Bogotá, where he re-recorded the album note for note with local musicians and created a fully functioning karaoke machine. The second part took place in Istanbul in 2005 and was included in the 9th International Istanbul Biennial. The final part was filmed in 2007 in Jakarta and Bandung, the hotbeds of a flowering Indonesian rock-scene. Out of hundreds of takes from each country, Collins re-assembled the world won’t listen in its original running order, thus creating a collection of ‘video-albums.’ A tender, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking portrait of humanity, the work is a study on the mediation and strength of popular culture’s global reach. the world won’t listen is in many ways representative of both the rigour and sensitivity that characterise Collins’ artistic method, offering a poignant look at one’s desires and struggle for individual expression or, as the artist has said, at ‘the sweet agony of self-fulfilment and self- limitation.’

Amongst other works included in the exhibition are britney, a series of large-scale prints of defaced Britney Spears posters which Collins photographed in the New York subway in 2001, and a suite of screenprints from 2006 based on letters that a young Morrissey, himself an obsessive fan and at the time an aspiring music writer, wrote to the London music weeklies in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Collins brings back to light a selection of these passionate and sharp-tongued contributions, which only rarely made it into the reviews proper. Both works expand on one of the central aspects of the world won’t listen, namely the issue of fandom and cultural fascination.


Phil Collins was born in 1970 in Runcorn, England, Phil Collins is currently based in Berlin. His recent projects include they shoot horses from 2004, a disco-dance marathon organised in Ramallah, Palestine, and a telenovela soy mi madre produced in Mexico City in 2008. In marxism today (prologue), which premiered at the last year’s Berlin Biennale, Collins depicts the human consequences of a disintegrating worldview through collaboration with former East German Marxist-Leninist teachers

Recent solo exhibition include British Film Institute, London and Jarla Partilager, Stockholm (both 2011), Cornerhouse, Manchester and daadgalerie, Berlin (both 2010), Tramway, Glasgow (2009), Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2008), Dallas Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (both 2007), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Tate Britain, London (both 2006). Collins was shortlisted for the 2006 Turner Prize.