43 – Andrew Norman WilsonUnited States (1983)
In the Air Tonight
Phil Collins released his famous song “In the Air Tonight” in 1980. A story then spread around what inspired this worldwide hit, with one interpretation of the lyrics suggesting that one night, the British singer stood by helplessly witnessing a swimmer drown and the cowardice of a man who refused to save him. This urban legend is at the heart of the fictional In the Air Tonight video installation Andrew Norman Wilson created in 2020.
This American artist imagined an auto-fiction focusing on Phil Collins and the dramatic situation he supposedly experienced, ensuring that the climax of the new story coincided with the distinctive drum break. Blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality, this In the Air Tonight video questions the role of popular narratives and collective imagination in the making of a piece that has become iconic.
Film Length: 11 minutes 10 seconds