Organized by Senior Curator Andria Hickey with Assistant Curator A. Will Brown
MOCA will present the first US museum exhibition of this intimate collaborative installation by British artist Phil Collins (b. 1970, Runcorn, UK). The work features six listening booths housing 7” vinyl recordings of original songs that the artist created in collaboration with guests of a homeless shelter in Cologne, Germany, as well as with Collins’ vast network of musicians. To make this work, Collins installed a phone booth with a free line at the shelter, available to all for unlimited local and international calls, with the agreement that the conversations would be recorded and made anonymous. The selected recordings were shared with a group of musicians, including David Sylvian, Scritti Politti, Lætitia Sadier, Maria Minerva and Damon & Naomi, Planningtorock, and others, who used the telephone booth audio to create new songs played on record players in the listening booths.
This installation evokes the universal transformative potential of music. It resonates with Cleveland’s stellar music scene, as well as the city’s deep struggle with poverty and the prevalence of homelessness. Collins states that “art has an imperative to address important issues... and... in places and times of increasing division, it's crucial that it becomes a prism for reflection in order to create, or ballast, the bridges between us.”