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1970, Runcorn. Lives in Brighton.

Last year, Collins re-recorded the backing tracks to The Smiths 1987 album The World Won’t Listen with musicians in Bogotá. This summer his Smiths karaoke arrived in İstanbul offering local fans a platform to perform their idols’ songs for camera, rather than in their bedrooms. Stereotypically, Smiths fans are shy and awkward, more given to melancholic contemplation than to wild karaoke nights. The Smiths are inextricably associated with Manchester and the 1980s, but their fans form an invisible alternative subculture in İstanbul. Collins appeared on radio, TV, in magazines and flyposted the streets, inviting fans to the recording session of dünya dinlemiyor at Balans nightclub. He used the footage from the fans’ enthusiastic response to create a video album. For Collins, the camera has mythic abilities; the spot in front of its lens is a site of possibility. There is an element of fantasy and longing in his work and a bittersweet frisson in the transient relationship, which has a cruel flipside. A joyful experience for this informal community comes at the price of being documented and exploited within the art system.
Collins admits to an addictive fascination with the therapeutic closure of reality TV. In Turkey this genre is haunted by two murders and a suicide, the result of trying to adapt American and European programme structures to different cultural traditions. Collins’ project gerçeğin geri dönüşü was structured around a reunion at the Marmara Ballroom of people who had never before met but had in common their previous participation in reality TV and its profound affect on their lives. Collins orchestrated a press conference, a set of confessional interviews, and group and individual portraits taken by Zümrüt glamour studio. By offering the participants a chance to relive their stardom, Collins repeats the circumstances of their original ordeal.

Alexandra MacGilp


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