Installation view, In Every Dream Home a Heartache, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2013.
Photos: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf.
Sound installation and collaborative project with GULLIVER survival station for the homeless Cologne. Ten 7" vinyls, listening booths, turntables, amplifiers, speakers; dimensions variable.
From Shady Lane Productions:
In 2013, Phil Collins collaborated with guests of GULLIVER survival station for the homeless, located under the railway arches at Cologne’s central station, where he installed a phone booth with a free line which anyone could use for unlimited local and international calls, on the agreement that the conversations would be recorded and anonymised. Selected from more than a thousand calls made over a four-week period, the material was posted to a group of musicians, serving as the starting point for original new songs. These were pressed as 7" vinyl records and presented in an exhibition at Museum Ludwig in specially designed listening booths, each equipped with a turntable and high-quality sound system, installed so as to overlook a busy public square and the railway bridge. After the installation in Cologne, the work was presented in adapted configurations in New York and Berlin.
Contributors include some of Collins’ personal heroes (Scritti Politti, David Sylvian, Lætitia Sadier, Damon & Naomi), trailblazing experimental and alternative acts (Demdike Stare, Planningtorock, Maria Minerva, Pye Corner Audio, Heroin In Tahiti, Peaking Lights), Cologne musicians of different generations (Elektronische Musik aus: Köln, Pluramon, Cologne Tape), and a special guest turn by the original German indie-superstar Julia Hummer.
Growing up in the North of England in the '70s and '80s, Collins always held a passionate belief in the transformative potential of popular culture. During this period pop music in particular was oftentimes explicitly political, rooted in everyday reality and vocal in its opposition to the government. At its most electrifying, it seemed capable of catalysing radical social movements, such as acid house and DIY rave culture, which Collins fell into in his student days in Manchester, where he worked for years at the legendary nightclub The Haçienda. Ever since pop music remains one of the mainstays of Collins’ diverse practice. From his early to his most recent works he has established close collaborations with a host of musicians and friends, including Welsh wizard and Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys, Marxist-pop revolutionary Lætitia Sadier, psych-folk rocket Cate Le Bon, and post-rock noisenik Barry Burns.
Shady Lane Productions (Berlin) and NERO (Rome) are now releasing a compilation documenting Collins’ Cologne project. Set in a silkscreened gatefold sleeve, it comes as a coloured double vinyl and a 36-page booklet with newly commissioned texts by Mark Fisher and Florian Schneider, selected transcripts from the original telephone recordings, as well as images from the GULLIVER survival station and the project’s various iterations.
my heart’s in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand’s in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught - a new compilation album which gathers music, selected texts and visual materials from this eponymous project is now streaming online.