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b. 1970, Runcom, England

Collins belongs to a generation of artists whose engagement with people, place and community is central to their work. In the last few years he has lived, worked and exhibited in numerous locations, including Belfast, Belgrade, Baghdad, Bogotá and Brighton.

In all the different strands of his practice Collins investigates the perils of representation and the emotional core of such seemingly transparent media as video and photography. Instinctively distrustful of the camera and its effects, yet responsive to its potential as an instigator of relationships, his works often revolve around convocation of individuals. Complicating both the myth of aesthetic autonomy and the fantasy of art as in itself political, Collins’ films, photographs, installations and live events appropriate the documentary tradition and elements of popular culture, such as pop-music and dance, to establish an immediate and humorous connection with the participant and viewer. Throughout, Collins displays a disarming mix of critical conscience, exuberant charm and an ambivalent empathy with his subjects. Recent projects have included a disco-dance marathon in Ramallah, and the re-recording of a Smiths album in Bogotá with local musicians to produce a karaoke machine for fans.

Collins was awarded the Absolut Prize in 2000, and the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2001. In recent years he has had solo exhibitions in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Colombia, Italy, and Greece, at venues such as Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Espacio La Rebeca, Bogotá; Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast; The Wrong Gallery, New York; and Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin. Collins'– most comprehensive solo exhibition to date, baby you opened this year at Milton Keynes Gallery and tours throughout 2005-06 to National Gallery of Arts, Tirana; first site, Colchester; Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea; and Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St. Gallen. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with contributions by Claire Bishop & Francesco Manacorda, Kate Bush, Todd Haynes and Bill Horrigan.

Collins was included in Manifesta 3 (2000); 1st Tirana Biennial (2001); Uniform: Order and Disorder at P.S.1/MoMA, New York (2001); Witness at Barbican Centre, London (2003); ArtNow Lightbox 01 at Tate Britain, London (2003); Universal Experience at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Hayward Gallery, London (2005); 7th Sharjah International Art Biennial (2005); and Populism at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, and Centre for Contemporary Art, Vilnius (2005). This year Collins will take part in 9th Istanbul Biennial and British Art Show 6. Other forthcoming exhibitions include University Museum of Art, Long Beach, California (solo) (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade (solo) (2006), and Momentum - Nordic Festival of Contemporary Art (2006).

Collins is represented in many public and private collections in Europe and the US, including that of Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Tate Gallery, London; and REFCO Photography Collection, Chicago.

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