The multilayered practice of British artist Phil Collins is the focus of a constellation of curatorial and academic activities over three months 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 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.
Organized by James Voorhies, the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director.
Support for Phil Collins: A Learning Site is partially provided by the Film Study Center at Harvard University, Harvard Film Archive, and the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities.