Abigail Raphael Collins


Out of Play is a seven channel video installation that explores relationships between the US military and the entertainment industry. Each episode focuses on one person caught at the intersection between Hollywood’s fictions and the military’s lived impact, and tries to pull apart some of the seamless integration of those two industries. In one episode Collins and her father discuss his acting roles in military TV shows like JAG, as well as PTSD from living through WWII. Another episode focuses on Ft Irwin, an army base in California with seven simulated Iraqi towns. Here, the artist speaks with an Iraqi-American role player who lived in character in one simulated town for eight years, drawing from his childhood memories of war. Exploring the slippage between fact and fiction both in content and form, all seven of these short experimental documentaries unhinge visual narratives about militarization, making space to assert our agency as viewers. How we consume media about war in our living rooms is both insular and local, while simultaneously systemic, shifting public approval of the US military and directly impacting how our military engages internationally. This project asks: what role are we being cast in through our viewership, and how can we reshape that role?

Abigail Raphael Collins, born in New York, uses experimental documentary and video installation to reconsider relationships between media and systemic violence through a queer feminist lens.