Updated: Oct 10, 2018
Marcus Coates is a performance artist who enacts shamanistic rituals and animalistic noises and movements to connect to another spiritual realm. He often enacts these performances in everyday places such as council estates and doctors’ offices. Coates adorns himself with various animal skins as totems that traditionally shamans would wear while making the calls of various animals to connect with the earth around us. Coates describes his methods as closing his eyes and imagining falling down a hole where he travels to the centre of the earth. When he reaches it, he sits in this new plane and waits for things to come to him and if nothing happens he calls out to animals and birds to summon them up. In the piece 'The Plover's Wing' (2008) he conducted a ritual with the mayor of a town in Israel to give some spiritual insight onto the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The juxtaposition of very ancient methods to solve modern issues is something that fascinates me and is something I’d like to incorporate into my own work. The influence of ancient spirituality and mysticism on the modern world is a strong influence on my own work, along with the performative aspect of his work.