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Journey to the Lower World
By Alec Finlay & Mark Wallinger
Distributed By Trans-Atlantic Publications
96 Pages, Illustrated
$47.50 Paper (Plus DVD)
Marcus Coates documents his recent attempt to engage the mystical and transformative power of Shamanic ritual to assist the tenants of Liverpool's Linosa Close, a 24-storey council tower block scheduled for demolition. With their homes condemned, Coates asked a group of residents to participate with him in a recreation of a Siberian Tuvak Shaman ritual, so that animal spirits, via the medium of the artist, might offer them guidance for the uncertain times to come. Journey to the Lower World is an album of words and images reflecting on human and animal consciousness in the contemporary world -- how ancient forms of knowledge, healing and spirituality are adapted to fill a void.
He has insistently considered our relationship to nature: where in previous projects he has adopted the techniques of scientific observation. Drumming and dancing his way into a trance, Coates attempts to channel information from the spirits of the animals he attempts to commune with, hoping to assume the powers of the traditional Shaman.
Solo exhibition at Baltic Centre for
Gateshead - 2006
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