Marcus Coates: The Trip
In his commissioned work for the Serpentine Gallery, The Trip, Coates reflects on the intimate conversations he had with patients at St. John's Hospice in London. Exploring the possibilities for dialogue between artists and those facing the end of life, Coates asked patients the question: 'What can I do for you?' The Trip documents exchanges between Coates and the late Alex H., who requested that the artist visit a remote small community in the Amazon on his behalf.
Marcus Coates creates rituals and mythologies that examine the role of the imagination and its possibilities for unconscious reasoning, often questioning the relationship between critical rationalism and belief. He seeks to test the pragmatic and uniquely useful potential of the artist within contemporary society.
This edition made exclusively for the Serpentine is a documentary photograph, taken on Coates' trip to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador on behalf of Alex H. The resulting videos, performances and installations have been shown internationally, with recent exhibitions including: The Sydney Biennial, 2010; Milton Keynes Gallery, 2010; Altermodern: Tate Triennial, London, 2009; Kunsthale Zurich, 2009; Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo; Lisson Presents 2, Lisson Gallery, London, 2008; Manifesta 7, Trento, Italy, 2008. The Trip was commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery in collaboration with St. John's Hospice and is part of the Serpentine Gallery's Skills Exchange programme in which artists swap and develop ideas for social and architectural change with the elderly, market traders, care workers and young people. The Trip will be presented in the Sackler Centre of Arts Education at the Serpentine Gallery.