The Directors

Marcus Coates

Churchill Gardens Estate, London
SOON 04 September 2022 - 30 October 2022
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The Directors

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Presenting 5 short films directed by people in recovery from psychosis 

The Directors is a collaboration between artist Marcus Coates and five individuals in recovery from varying lived experiences of psychosis. Positioned behind the camera, each of them directs Coates in a filmed restaging of their recollection of particular episodes from their lives, enabling a shift in dynamics whereby the once patient is empowered rather than pathologised, and given creative agency to direct and narrate their own story, as only they can.

Following extensive research and discussion between the artist and expert advisers with their own lived experiences of psychosis, the five short films expose cultural stigma through an attempt at exploring these often untold and nuanced realities. Each first-time director chose a location of personal significance where they filmed Coates performing their recollections, keeping the camera rolling until satisfied that the artist had achieved an authentic re-enactment. With The Directors, Coates embraces a creative and reciprocal dialogue; a shared attempt at reducing the stigma associated with volatile mental health, and questioning not how much or how little we’ll be able to empathise, but how we can begin to try.  

The five short up to 30-minute films that make up The Directors will be screened across five locations in Pimlico, each within a short walking distance of the other. These include a two-bedroom flat, a health centre seminar room, a shop selling paintings and curios, and the Churchill Gardens Estate between Lupus Street and the Thames. Churchill Gardens, designed and built in a spirit of post-war optimism and the desire for social integration, is currently piloting an at-home community health and well-being scheme to improve access to services for residents and will be same location where visitors will arrive.

Presented in London from 4 September – 30 October, alongside a contextual programme of talks and workshops facilitating the growing public discussion around the nation’s mental health.

The five films will later enter the Artangel Collection, to be reimagined in places beyond London from 2023 onwards.


Image: Still from The Directors: Mark, Marcus Coates (2022)

About Marcus Coates

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Marcus Coates

Marcus Coates lives and works in London. Through his attempts to become animal, to his vicarious experiences on behalf of people, his work offers an inquiry into the degrees to which we can understand, know and relate to others. Often performative – using a process of radical empathy as a motivation to create, examine and critique relational tools – he tests actual and perceived boundaries between individuals, within communities, and with other species. New ways of relating are proposed and often put into practice. His approach is often functional with a social and ecological impact in mind.

Coates has collaborated with people from a wide range of disciplines including anthropologists, ornithologists, wildlife sound recordists, choreographers, politicians, psychiatrists, palliative care consultants, musicians, and primatologists amongst others.

His recent exhibitions include: The Limits of Humanity, Musée de l’Homme, Paris, 2021; The World is in You, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2021; Joseph Beuys and the Shamans, Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-Hau, Germany 2021; The Animal that therefore I am, OCAT Institute, Beijing, China, 2020; The Land We Live In, The Land We Left Behind, Hauser & Wirth Somerset 2018; Functional Improvisation with percussionist Terry Day, William Morris Museum, 2017; As Above, So Below, IMMA, Dublin, 2017; Ape Culture, HKW Berlin, 2015; The Trip, Serpentine Gallery, London and Implicit Sound, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2011; Psychopomp, Milton Keynes Gallery, 2010; Marcus Coates, Kunsthalle, Zurich, Switzerland, 2009.

Find out more at www.marcuscoates.co.uk

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Image: (left) Still from The Directors: Mark, Marcus Coates (2022). (above) Marcus Coates. Courtesy of the artist. 

The Directors: Mark

27 minutes and 16 secondsĀ 
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The Directors: Mark

Directed by: Mark Banham

Format: Single channel HD video on loop, projection

Running Time: 27 minutes, 16 seconds 

Please note, extended archival footage featuring a filmed interview with Marcus Coates tracing his experience filming this film, and an audio conversation between Michael Morris and Director Mark Banham, will be published here in September 2022. 


Image: Still from The Directors: Mark, Marcus Coates (2022).

The Directors: Lucy

21 minutes and 24 seconds
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The Directors: Lucy

Directed by: Lucy Dempster

Format: Single channel HD video on loop, projection

Running Time: 21 minutes, 24 seconds

Please note, extended archival footage featuring a filmed interview with Marcus Coates tracing his experience filming this film, and an audio conversation between Michael Morris and Director Lucy Dempster, will be published here in September 2022. 


Image: Still from The Directors: Lucy, Marcus Coates (2022).

The Directors: Anthony

25 minutes and 18 seconds
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The Directors: Anthony 

Directed by: Anthony Donohoe 

Format: Single channel HD video on loop, projection

Running Time: 25 minutes, 18 seconds 

Please note, extended archival footage featuring a filmed interview with Marcus Coates tracing his experience filming this film, and an audio conversation between Michael Morris and Director Anthony Donohoe, will be published here in September 2022. 


Image: Still from The Directors: Anthony, Marcus Coates (2022).

The Directors: Marcus

16 minutes and 51 seconds
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The Directors: Marcus 

Directed by: Marcus Gordon

Format: Single channel HD video on loop, projection

Running Time: 16 minutes, 51 seconds 

Please note, extended archival footage featuring a filmed interview with Marcus Coates tracing his experience filming this film, and an audio conversation between Michael Morris and Director Marcus Gordon, will be published here in September 2022. 


Image: Still from The Directors: Marcus, Marcus Coates (2022).

The Directors: Stephen

16 minutes and 57 seconds
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The Directors: Stephen

Directed by: Stephen Groves

Format: Single channel HD video on loop, projection

Running Time: 16 minutes, 57 seconds 

Please note, extended archival footage featuring a filmed interview with Marcus Coates tracing his experience filming this film, and an audio conversation between Michael Morris and Director Stephen Groves, will be published here in September 2022. 


Image: Still from The Directors: Stephen, Marcus Coates (2022).

Advisory Group

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Advisory Group

6 experts in the field of psychosis supported the research and development of The Directors. 

Listed in alphabetical order, they include Peter Bullimore, Professor Charles Fernyhough, Laura E. Fischer, Professor David Harper, Jo Loughran, and Dr Isabel Valli.

Peter Bullimore

Peter is a voice hearer who spent ten years as a psychiatric patient. He recovered through learning holistic approaches and with support from the Hearing Voices Network. Peter now teaches on hearing voices and paranoia internationally, facilitates a support group in Sheffield, runs a training and consultancy agency, and is a founding member of the Paranoia Network. He teaches at the University of Manchester where he is also carrying out research into collaborative working between voluntary sector organisations and the university, and what recovery means from a service user’s perspective.

Professor Charles Fernyhough

Charles is a writer and psychologist. His non-fiction book about his daughter’s psychological development, The Baby in the Mirror, was published by Granta in 2008. His book on autobiographical memory, Pieces of Light (Profile, 2012) was shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. His latest non-fiction book, The Voices Within, is published by Profile/Wellcome Collection in the UK and by Basic Books (2016) in the US. He is the editor of Others (Unbound, 2019), an anthology exploring how books and literature can show us other points of view, with net profits supporting refugee and anti-hate charities. Charles has also written for numerous publications, consulted on theatre productions and supported the development of countless TV and radio series'. He is a part-time Professor of Psychology at Durham University, where he leads the interdisciplinary Hearing the Voice project, investigating the phenomenon of auditory verbal hallucinations. He has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed journal articles on topics such as inner speech, memory and child development.

Laura E. Fischer

Laura is an Artist, Researcher, Lecturer, and Mental Health Activist who specialises in trauma. A key focus of her work is on the neuropsychological and neurophysiological correlates of childhood trauma and the development of novel creative body-based and survivor-led interventions. Through her art practice, she creates spaces for trauma survivors to reclaim and redefine their narratives on their own terms. She is an Honorary Research Associate of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, an Honorary Research Associate of UCL’s Division of Psychiatry, an Improvement Leader Fellow and Honorary Research Fellow of NIHR ARC NWL, a Special Lecturer at UCL and Central Saint Martins, and she is on the Editorial Board of QI4U and the Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Psychiatry. She has published articles and book chapters, has facilitated workshops and given numerous talks, including keynotes and TEDx, and her artwork and films have been exhibited internationally, at venues including the V&A, the Whitechapel Gallery, and the BFI, and some of her work is in the Central Saint Martins Museum Collection. 

Professor David Harper

David is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London (UEL). He is a clinical psychologist who worked in mental health services in the North West for nearly a decade before moving to UEL in 2000. He completed both his undergraduate psychology degree and postgraduate training in clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool and his PhD (‘Deconstructing Paranoia’) at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since 2014 he has been one of the two Programme Directors of UEL's Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. His co-authored and co-edited book Psychology Mental Health & Distress was a winner of the 2014 British Psychological Society’s book award. He is predominantly a qualitative researcher, developing conceptual and empirical projects from a critical psychology standpoint. His focus is on psychosis (especially paranoia and unusual beliefs), social inequality and mental health, changing attitudes about mental health and investigating how electronic gathering, storage and transmission of personal information is experienced by the public.

Jo Loughran

Jo is a leader and strategic thinkerwith more than a decade of involvement in the UK charity sector, almost all of those years in Rethink Mental Illness in a variety of roles. Jo draws on her specialist knowledge of behaviour change campaigns, mental health anti-stigma programmes and lived experience leadership as Director at Time to Change. Previously in her role She has worked for Rethink Mental Illness for the past 15 years and, as Head of the Children and Young People's programme at Time to Change, she has led the development, from concept to implementation, of England's largest mental health anti-stigma programme for young people aged 11-18 and their parents. With personal experience of mental health problems that began in her teenage years, Jo is passionate about creating an environment where no one feels isolated or ashamed to speak out. She is the founder and Trustee of Nauka, a charity that helps disadvantaged women in Zambia realise their full potential, and a serving Trustee of The McPin Foundation, transforming mental health research by putting the lived experience of people affected by mental health problems at the heart of research methods and the research agenda.

Dr Isabel Valli

Isabel is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. She is currently Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Barcelona and visiting lecturer in the department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She is a specialist in the treatment of psychosis and has worked as a consultant psychiatrist in first episode psychosis services within the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Her research uses neuroimaging techniques to study the brain mechanisms associated with high-risk states for psychosis and their potential use for the early identification of vulnerable individuals. She has an interest in the arts and has established collaborations with artists and theatre makers for the development of multidisciplinary projects.


Image: Still from The Directors: Marcus, Marcus Coates (2022)

Production Credits

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Production Credits

Producer: Michael Morris

Production Team: Sam Collins, Marina Doritis, Elissavet Ntoulia 

Line Producer, Director of Photography and Editor: Tilly Shiner

First Assistant Camera: Simon Eaves 

Sound Recordists and Editors: House of Noise 

Grading: Becan Rickard-Elliott

Floor runner: Georgie Joseph

Read the credits for the full cast and crew


Image: Still from The Directors: Stephen, Marcus Coates (2022).

Credits

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Who made this possible?

Credits

The Directors is produced by Artangel and commissioned with Art Fund Support.

Supported by Artangel’s Guardian Angels.

With special thanks to The Executive Producers for their generosity:

Andrew Abdulezer, Martine d’Anglejan-Chatillon, James Brett, Robert Devereux, Gerry Fox, Gabriela Galcerán Ball, Kate MacGarry, Gabrielle Rifkind & Jonathan Levy, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, and The Company of Angels.


 

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