January 24 – April 14, 2006
The University Art Museum is proud to present phil collins: assume freedom, an exhibition of recent photography and video work by British artist Phil Collins. Collins’ images are taken in areas of the world beset by conflict such as Palestine, Serbia, and Iraq. Created while in residency or through his relationships with his subjects, Collins’ work comprises a complex investigation of portraiture, documentary traditions, beauty, violence, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. The UAM exhibition will include three video projections, they shoot hores, el mundo non escuchará, and how to make a refugee, and 16 large-scale photographic prints including abbas amini.
The video installation el mundo no escuchará (Portuguese for “the world won’t listen”) documents a karaoke festival for the fans of the 80s British rock band the Smiths that was organized over a 10-week period in Bogotá, Colombia in 2005.
The image abbas amini, perhaps the most haunting of Collins’ images, is also atypical of his oeuvre in that it depicts a public figure—an Iranian poet seeking asylum in the UK after having been imprisoned and tortured in Iran. After British authorities attempted to deport him in 2003, Amini sewed up his eyes, ears, and mouth in protest, which resulted in the government reversing its decision indefinitely. The photograph remains as an unsettling record of Amini’s mute despair.
This exhibition is co-curated by Mary-Kay Lombino, former Curator of Exhibitions, University Art Museum and Sheryl Conkelton, Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, Tyler School of Art.