Phil Collins is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Berlin and Wuppertal. Since the late 1990s his diverse practice, which looks at the intersections of art, politics and media, has been recognised for its commitment to social reality and lived experience. Over the years, Collins has worked with various popular formats – from documentary, karaoke and reality television to soap opera, teleshopping, music video and anime – and has collaborated with, amongst others, disco-dancing Palestinians, fans of The Smiths across three continents, Kosovar Albanian refugees, the youth of Baghdad, anti-fascist skinheads in Malaysia, the homeless population of Cologne, teachers of Marxism-Leninism from the former German Democratic Republic, men incarcerated at one of the United States’ largest prisons, and prisoners, pensioners, school kids and a symphonic orchestra in Glasgow.
Often structured around an idiosyncratic exploration of the act of image-making and various modes of performance, Collins’ approach is based in a close engagement with place and community. Ranging from a disco dance marathon, a soap-influenced melodrama, an alternative teleshopping channel and a documentary musical to castings, karaoke sessions, press conferences, public gatherings, record releases and club nights, his collaborations articulate the nuances of relations embedded in the aesthetic regimes and economies that define everyday life.
Collins’ works have been presented around the world and can be found in public collections such as those of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. In 2006 he was nominated for the UK’s leading contemporary art award the Turner Prize. Since 2011 Collins is Professor of Video Art and Performance at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.