Phil Collins

They shoot Horses

08 May - 05 June 2004

The Kerlin Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of a new video work by Phil Collins.


'They shoot horses' is a two screen, seven hour video installation depicting a disco dance marathon. The artist auditioned for participants in Ramallah, Palestine in March 2004, and filmed two separate groups of young people dancing throughout the course of a working day, without any breaks.

'They shoot horses' resists any facile social and political interpretations presenting us instead with a number of intriguing paradoxes. A work about cultural translation and cultural imperialism; about the liberating nature of music, and the cabin fever mentality, generated by eight hours of repetitive action. It is at once concerned with survivalism and collapse; heroism and exploitation. For Collins the point of an artwork is to fall in love, and the point of love is to realise our place within the world.

Collins, currently based in Brighton, has lived, worked and exhibited in numerous locations, including Belfast, Belgrade, New York and Baghdad. Restless and tireless, he has made various forays into live performance, curating, event organization and social activism. He is best known, however, for his still photography and work in video and video installation. Subjects explored include the construction of various identities, individual, communal, sub-cultural and national. He is naturally drawn to communities living in extremis and his fidelity to the documentary tradition is tempered by a disarming mix of social conscience, exuberant charm and seemingly effortless empathy.

Collins has had solo exhibitions at various venues in Ireland, Britain, the USA, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Israel. He was included in Manifesta 3,2000, The Tirana Biennial 2001, Reality Check, 2002, and Witness, 2003 at the Barbican Centre, London. He was awarded the Absolut Prize for his contribution to Perspective 2000 in Belfast, and in 2001 received the Paul Hamlyn Award. His video 'baghdad screentests' was shown every evening in the centre of Dublin throughout the recent assault on Iraq and and in ArtNow Lightbox at Tate Britain. His first bookwork 'i only want you to love me' was recently published as part of the Brighton Photo Biennial. Forthcoming shows include 'romantic detachment' at PS1, New York and Diaporama 04, Barcelona. Collins is represented in many public and private collections in Europe and the US including that of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, London, and the REFCO photography collection in Chicago.

For further information please contact Darragh Hogan.