berlin

Phil Collins, This Unfortunate Thing Between Us, 2011, still from a live TV broadcast, 60 minutes.

Phil Collins

Hebbel am Ufer

Phil Collins, This Unfortunate Thing Between Us, 2011, still from a live TV broadcast, 60 minutes.

What if the humdrum schlock of home-shopping programs were replaced with offers to participate in actual experiences? What if, for the “special introductory offer” price of 9.99, you could buy a role in a fantasy sequence on live television? Leaving the isolated comfort of your living room, you would travel to Berlin (transportation and accommodation included) to star in one of three scenes: Stasi-style interrogation, queer Victorian-era porno play, or lying in your own hospital deathbed surrounded by family members, whom you tell once and for all how much you really hate them. So went the premise of Phil Collins’s latest project, This Unfortunate Thing Between Us, 2011, produced for Testing Stage, a mini-festival organized as a Berlin prelude to last year’s Performa Biennial in New York. On two consecutive nights, the sixty-minute camp-filled spectacle was performed before a live

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