Phil Collins

b. 1970, Rundorn, UK


Phil Collins
Phil Collins, Baghdad Wedding, 2003 (still)




Phil Collins' work investigates the role of different types of mass media. His work often reveals the camera as a brutalising instrument that manipulates and oppresses the people it represents by reducing them to stereotypes, but he also hints on the liberating potential of the camera by showing how it can give rise to shared moments of catharsis.

Baghdad Wedding (2003) shows a wedding celebration in Baghdad. The video alternates between the frenzied dance of a group of grown men and a pre-pubescent girl dancing on her own, both shown in slow motion and without sound. This manipulation of the footage drains the joyful spirit from the event and renders it strange, highlighting the ability of film technology to distort reality. The slow motion also forces the viewer to look closely at the faces of the Iraqis who appear in front of the camera, and recognise them as real human beings rather than an abstract idea that appears in news reports.