July 21, 2006 - Sala Rekalde - Phil Collins, the return of the real/gercegin geri donusu
July 21, 2006

Phil Collins, the return of the real/gercegin geri donusu

Phil Collins
the return of the real / gercegin geri donusu, 2005
Multichannel video and photographic installation
Courtesy the artist, Kerlin Gallery & Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Phil Collins
the return of the real/
gercegin geri donusu

20 July to 1 October 2006

Curated by Leire Vergara

sala rekalde
Alameda de Recalde, 30
Bilbao 48009


the return of the real/gercegin geri donusu is a multichannel video and photographic installation investigating the promises and betrayals of reality television from the point of view of former participants. Structured as a forum for people who had never met before but who had in common both their appearances on reality TV and its profound effect on their lives, the project was initiated in 2004 and first presented as part of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial. Over the last year Collins has been developing related productions in the USA, Great Britain and Spain.

The heart of the project is a press conference and photosession which Collins organised at The Marmara, Istanbuls most iconic hotel. There, the subjects were able to address the national media and to speak uncensored of their experiences, while a local glamour studio marked the occasion with an official group portrait and a series of individual celebritystyle headshots. Furthermore, Collins hired the director of a Turkish extrememakeover show to conduct a series of hourlong interviews in a TV studio. The installation at sala rekalde includes eight of these films in which the subjects simultaneously rehearse their biographies, explain their grievances and undergo, arguably, further exploitation. Set up so as to implicate the viewer, locating them between an illusion of reality and the bare mechanics of its fabrication, the installation reproduces the situation of the original production.
the return of the real/gercegin geri donusu comprises an indepth analysis of the representational structures of socalled postdocumentary culture that reality television has come to epitomise. At the same time, the project calls attention to the continuous erosion of the distinction between the public and private spheres. Probing into some of the issues around ethics and truthtelling within the new scopic technologies that determine the structure of lived experience itself, Collins threads a fine line dividing reality from fantasy, and authenticity from delusion. More specifically, his interest lies in the restaging of trauma, the exhibition of the self, and in the currency of forms of confession and revelation required by the new economies of realism. In this, the exhibition at sala rekalde presents an opportunity to confront the aesthetic and conceptual logic of Collins work in general, something which he has referred to as sheer exploitation and a curious bind of consolation and love.

Phil Collins belongs to a generation of artists whose engagement with people, place and community is central to their work. Using video, photography, installation and live events, Collins questions the supposed generosity of spirit in socially engaged art practices. His work constantly negotiates the ideological implications at work in individual or collective representational procedures. The fascination underlining Collins desire to minutely examine that precise moment in which the camera becomes the substitute for the real, leads him to work with seemingly transparent, lensbased media as a platform from whence to dissect the power of the mediated gaze.

Elements of the return of the real/gercegin geri donusu have previously been shown at the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, the Nederlands Fotomuseum as part of the 35th International Film Festival in Rotterdam, and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York. This is the first time the project is being presented as an eightscreen installation.

Phil Collins has been nominated for Turner Prize 2006. the return of the real/gercegin geri donusu is his first solo exhibition in Spain. He has previously participated in Front Line Compilation, a programme organised by D.A.E. Donostia San Sebastián in 2002.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive, fullyillustrated catalogue, due out in November 2006.


With the support of the British Council.

For further information please contact:
Constanza Erkoreka
Tel: ( 34) 94 406 87 07

Sala Rekalde
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