They Shoot Horses Favorite 


Mar 23 2006


London England

Text taken from website:

Phil Collins’s work often originates in areas of conflict, shifting the focus away from sensationalist news coverage to reveal unexpected aspects of life in contested territories - from Belfast to Belgrade to Baghdad and Bogotá.
they shoot horses shows a disco dance marathon produced in Ramallah with a group of young Palestinians. The work’s title is taken from a 1935 novel by Horace McCoy and its film adaptation directed by Sydney Pollack. These both focus on the American craze for dance marathons during the Great Depression, which became a form of popular entertainment based around the exploitation of the contestants.
Ramallah, a Palestinian city under Israeli occupation, has been the site of much violence and political unrest. While not directly political, they shoot horses resonates with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The artist auditioned participants in February 2004 and filmed two separate groups of young people dancing during the course of a day without any breaks. Throughout, the production was interrupted by power failures, technical problems and calls to prayer from a nearby mosque revealing the elation, stoicism and eventual exhaustion of the dancers. The work is concerned with heroism and collapse and reveals beauty surviving under duress.

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