the world won't listen


Phil Collins ( British, 1970 )

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General Description

In 2004, Phil Collins undertook the making of the world won't listen, which, in its completed form (as the artist originally envisioned it) had its world premiere at the Dallas Museum of Art, November 9, 2007-March 23, 2008. The first chapter was filmed in Bogotá, Columbia, where Collins worked with local musicians to produce a fully functioning karaoke machine; the second was filmed in Istanbul, Turkey, and was included in the 9th International Istanbul Biennial; and the third was filmed in Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia. In each of these three culturally diverse countries, the artist spent extended periods of time researching, lecturing, building sets, and filming; the filming was followed by an intensive and extensive editing period. He went on the radio and television, visited dance clubs, and posted flyers throughout each city, inviting participants to come and perform their favorite songs from the 1987 album The World Won't Listen by the highly influential British indie-band The Smiths.

Insightfully combining art, pop music, and popular culture, Collins has created a sympathetic, occasionally heartbreaking, and, at times, funny portrait of humanity. Performing and singing their favorite lyrics, these fans remind us of our own painful desire and struggle for expression or, as the artist has beautifully said, "the sweet agony of self-fulfillment and self-limitation."

Adapted from

Suzanne Weaver, DMA unpublished material, 2008.

Web Resources

  • UbuWeb
    Watch El Mundo No Escuchará.