Relating to performance-based and conceptual approaches to video and photography, the art of Phil Collins investigates the nuances of social relations in various locations and global communities. Collins employs elements of popular culture, and sometimes operates within forms of low-budget television and reportage-style documentary to address the camera as an instrument of both truth and deception. In recent years he has worked in regions of social or political unrest, in cities such as Baghdad, Belgrade, Bogotá, and, most recently, Jakarta. Investigating the inherent problems of representation within different media, Collins repeatedly underlines the complex and unpredictable transferences that occur between the producer, the participant, and the viewer. The specific character of Collins’ practice comes from its volatile, shape-shifting nature.
Manifesting itself as a disco dance marathon, karaoke party, film casting, talk-show confessional or an intimate photographic session, his work is equal parts video, photography, performance and live event without exclusively adhering to any one in particular. For Collins, such indeterminacy is a condition of the precarious creative process by which representation is constructed, particularly in the participatory and collaborative situations that his work is frequently associated with.
Born in Runcorn, UK, in 1970, Phil Collins currently lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Tramway, Glasgow (2009), Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2008), Dallas Museum of Art, Texas (2008), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2007), National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa (2007), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006), Tate Britain, London (2006-07) and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2005). Collins was nominated for the 2006 Turner Prize.