Since 2004 Marcus Coates (b. London, 1968) has been developing an ongoing body of work in which he performs a shamanic ritual on behalf of a live audience. Through a combination of his earnestness as a Shaman, the absurdity of the Shamanic ritual in a contemporary setting, and his deadpan documentary style Coates seeks a new subjectivity for himself and in turn an approach to pragmatism that is irrational, uncontrolled, yet effective. Coates questions how culture supports our separation from nature and reflects on how nature as a human concept is a clear definition of our own needs and troubles as a species.
Marcus Coates was born in 1968 in London, UK. In 2008 he was the recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Award and in 2009 he won the Daiwa Art Prize. In 2013 Coates was a shortlisted for the Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square artwork (2015/16). Solo exhibitions include: The Trip, Serpentine Gallery, London; Implicit Sound, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Psychopomp, Milton Keynes Gallery and Marcus Coates, Kunsthalle, Zurich, Switzerland. Group exhibitions include: Private Utopia: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection, Tokyo Station Gallery, Japan; Station to Station, Barbican Art Centre, London; THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, Sydney Biennale, Australia; ALTERMODERN, Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London; MANIFESTA 7, Trento, Italy; Transformation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London; Hamsterwheel, Malmo Konsthall, Sweden and Venice Biennale. Marcus Coates lives and works in London.