Marcus Coates (born London, 1968) is well-known for his video works, which record the artist making shamanistic performances. These events tend to take place in municipal spaces such as offices or council housing buildings, and happen in front of members of the public. The viewer is left unsure as to Coates’ convictions, as the work oscillates between comedy and a proposition that art can be restorative.
In 2007 Film and Video Umbrella commissioned Marcus Coates to make ‘Britain’s Bitterns c.1997’. This was part of the touring group exhibition ‘Waterlog’, which was accompanied by a major publication ‘Waterlog: Journeys Around an Exhibition’. The work furthered Coates’ practice of using animals in his work and drawing on their status in folklore and mythology. A further commission in 2009, ‘Follow the Voice’, built on this by looking at the commonality between human and animal communication.
Coates’ work has been widely exhibited in the UK and abroad. Selected solo presentations have been at Baltic, Gateshead; the Whitechapel Gallery and Café Gallery Projects, London. His work has been featured in the 2009 Tate Triennial and the touring exhibition British Art Show 6, as well as in group shows at the Hayward, London; Museo Arte Contemporenea, Rome; and Israeli Centre for Digital Art, Holon.
Coates is represented by Workplace, Gateshead.