Marcus Coates’ First Survey Exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery

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LONDON.- This exhibition will be the first survey of Marcus Coates’ work in a public gallery in the UK and will include early film pieces, sculpture, sound, costumes and photographs as well as new work. The show will run from January 15 through April 4, 2010. Coates often assumes the identity of an animal, such as a fox, goshawk or stoat, by simulating its appearance, enacting its habits and appropriating its language. In the film, ‘Stoat’, (1999), for example, Coates totters around on ramshackle platforms, learning to recreate the animal’s bounding movements; in ‘Goshawk’, (1999), a telephoto lens captures the artist as a rare bird perched precariously at the top of a tree; while in ‘Finfolk’, (2003), the artist emerges from the North Sea spluttering a new dialect, as spoken by seals. Coates has also trained as a shaman and the exhibition includes films of his rituals, where he achieves a trance-like state and communes with the animal kingdom to address social issues. Wearing a