Phil Collins collaborates with Sylvian (et al.)

Phil Collins. In Every Dream Home A Heartache. Museum Ludwig, Cologne April 18 – July 21, 2013

David writes on facebook:
Visual artist Phil Collins collaborates with international musicians, including David Sylvian, Lætitia Sadier and Scritti Politti, for solo exhibition at Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

…and a quote from the following text: All the songs will be compiled on a double-album limited edition vinyl to be released at an as yet undisclosed date.

Collinsʼ new project my heartʼs in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my handʼs in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught was developed with GULLIVER survival station for the homeless. Located under the arches of the cityʼs central station, GULLIVER provides a communal space for Cologneʼs homeless and unemployed population. There, over a period of several weeks at the beginning of the year, Collins installed a phone booth with a free line that anyone could use for unlimited international calls on the agreement that the conversations were anonymously recorded. The selected material was then posted to a group of international musicians, serving as the starting point for original new songs pressed onto 7” vinyls. In the exhibition, visitors can withdraw to a row of specially designed listening booths overlooking the railway tracks to enjoy the records. The project includes contributions by some of Collinsʼ greatest influences, such as David Sylvian, Lætitia Sadier, Scritti Politti, and Damon & Naomi, trailblazing experimental and indie acts (Demdike Stare, Planningtorock, Maria Minerva, Heroin In Tahiti, Pye Corner Audio, Peaking Lights), local heroes from different generations (Elektronische Musik aus: Köln, Pluramon, Cologne Tape), and a special guest turn from original German superstar Julia Hummer. All the songs will be compiled on a double-album limited edition vinyl to be released at an as yet undisclosed date.


my heartʼs in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my handʼs in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught is a headfirst dive into a city, tuning in to its many unheard stories and facets of its life that are routinely overlooked. Collins is interested in the lyrical and epic potential of the human voice, specifically in relation to a declining landline technology. He looks at the emotional relationship we have with the telephone when it functions as a measure of our social existence. The project brings back into focus the almost forgotten aspects of a telephone conversation: its physicality and romance; its ceremonial and performative nature; its ability to create and counter distance, and to conjure up the poetry of the spoken word. Structuring it as an opportunity for a bargain, Collins isolates and dramatises the moment of communication as an intimate and ambivalent encounter.


Other works in the exhibition feature original soundtracks by Welsh pop star Gruff Rhys and North Wales surf band Y Niwl. This Unfortunate Thing Between Us (2011) is an installation based on TUTBU.TV, an alternative shopping channel produced by Collins which was performed and broadcast live on German national television. Hosted by a cast of actors and porn workers, TUTBU.TV sold real life experiences in place of mass-produced commodities, offering a tantalising glimpse into what could be the future of consumer television. Conceived on the other side of the world in Malaysia, the short film the meaning of style (2011) is a tropical fantasy featuring a cast of anti-fascist skinheads and exotic butterflies, which provides the frame for a poetic meditation on the relationship between British colonial history and youth subcultures in South-East Asia.


Growing 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 affective potential of various recording media in their everyday context. Collinsʼ practice is focused on close engagement with people and communities, which down 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. Throughout, Collinsʼ 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.

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