Forum 59: Phil Collins
In Forum 59: Phil Collins, Carnegie Museum of Art will present the British-born artist’s ongoing video project the world won’t listen, in which he invites fans of the 1980s band The Smiths to perform karaoke versions of tracks from their classic album of the same name in front of his video camera.
Soliciting participants for the project in major international cities, such as Istanbul and Bogotá, Columbia, Collins invites “the shy, the dissatisfied, narcissists, and anyone who’s ever wished they could be someone else for a night” to come and perform the decidedly melancholic and angst-ridden lyrics of this British band in front of generic, kitschy backdrops of nature scenes or faux-tropical islands. The resulting video installation offers us a series of heartbreaking portraits of its subjects that are at once intimate and voyeuristic, exceedingly sincere and tragi-comic. In the end, Collins wants us to identify with his subjects by invoking a cross-cultural community of people tied together by their love of The Smiths. In the interplay between our own narcissism as spectators and that of the American Idol dreams of the singers on the screen, the world won’t listen performs its magic.
General support for the exhibition program at Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by grants from the Heinz Endowments and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.