Marcus Coates

We were delighted to welcome Marcus Coates who gave an educational talk to a senior high school arts group from his portable studio in a British forest. Marcus Coates offered insights into his unique practice.

At the core of Marcus’ work is a relationship to the unknowable. From his attempts to become animal to his vicarious experiences on behalf of terminally ill patients he seeks to uncover degrees of understanding and knowing, testing our definitions and boundaries of autonomy. He devises processes to explore the pragmatism and insight that empathetic perspectives and imagined realities can offer. He explicitly addresses a need to create functional and inclusive languages where conventional strategies of understanding and rationalisation prove inadequate.

The form and purpose of his work continues to develop in consideration to society’s needs which he responds to by working with individuals, communities, institutions, organisations and the general public. In this way he sees aspects of his art practice as a necessary and pragmatic service.

Marcus has collaborated with people from a wide range of disciplines including anthropologists, ornithologists, wildlife sound recordists, choreographers, politicians, gallerists, curators, psychiatrists, palliative care consultants, musicians, primatologists amongst others.


Exhibitions and performances include:

The Land We Live In, The Land We Left Behind, Hauser & Wirth Somerset 2018; Functional Improvisation with percussionist Terry Day, William Morris Museum, 2017; As Above, So Below, IMMA, Dublin, 2017; Ape Culture, HKW Berlin, 2015; The Trip, Serpentine Gallery, London and Implicit Sound, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2011; Psychopomp, Milton Keynes Gallery, 2010; Marcus Coates, Kunsthalle, Zurich, Switzerland, 2009.

Recent publications include: Marcus Coates, 2016, a survey monograph published by Koenig and UR…A Practical Guide to Unconscious Reasoning, 2014, Published by Bookworks.