Monday, March 03, 2008

Marcus Coates & Matt Stokes: "Film Screening" Gate Cinema, London, UK

WORKPLACE GALLERY and Picturehouse ArtSpace presents:



Wednesday March 5th, 6.15pm – 7.15pm,
The Gate Cinema
87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JR

Tickets £6 full-price / £4 concession / £3 members
Box office: 0871 704 2058

In association with Picturehouse ArtSpace, Workplace Gallery is pleased to present recent films by Marcus Coates and Matt Stokes.

Marcus Coates' 2006 HD film ‘Radio Shaman’ is documentation of an interview on Norwegian Radio where Coates, a polite Englishman in suit, spectacles, and stag skin, continues in his role of Shaman to provide his services to the people of Stavanger, a middle class Norwegian town dealing with a sudden influx of Nigerian immigrants bringing with them the social problems of poverty, prostitution, and a spread of HIV. Coates' film explores these issues, taboo in Norwegian society, by performing a Shamanic ritual in the local centres of Religion, Politics and on the street corner. Coates' role as Shaman in the film meets straightforward acceptance, with strangely no questioning of the authenticity of such a figure regardless of his deadpan self-mocking delivery. We as audience are given a persuasive middle class gentleman of an idol in whom we can choose to believe.

Matt Stokes’ film ‘Cipher’ is collaboration between the artist, pipe organists Kevin Bowyer and John Riley, and ‘Fimbulvetr’, a Dark Ambient musik (sic) club in Edinburgh, Scotland. The resulting compositions and subsequent film combine the club organisers’ music interests and fascination in Norse mythology, with the improvisational skills and classical training of the organists. Using the name ‘Fimbulvetr’ (which translates as the three winters without a summer preceding ‘Ragnorok’, the rebirth of the world) and its connotations as a starting point, the organists worked closely with the organisers to compose two original and contrasting scores created specifically for the city’s grand concert pipe organ housed in the Usher Hall. Visually, the film explores the mechanics of the Victorian-styled instrument and physicality of the playing, and shifts from the usually hidden interiors of the blower room and pipe lofts, to the organists and expansive façade of the organ case. Both the hall and instrument are seen under fittingly lowlight and cool colours, whilst the music descends into unusual discordant sounds or drones akin to Dark Ambient or Doom Metal, many of which stretch both the organ and players abilities. Subtly, this combination suggests something of the chaotic history connected to the location (and the instrument itself), which since 1914 has been the scene of political rallies, classical concerts, to riots and rock concerts. Cipher was a Collective Gallery commission.

Marcus Coates (Born 1968) lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions and performances include: A Heligoland for Souls – Experiment Marathon, Serpentine Gallery, London, HaPazura, Israeli Centre for Digital Art, Holon, Israel, Cycle Parking and Prostitution, Rekord Gallery, Oslo, Norway, Hamsterwheel, Venice Biennale, Italy, Marcus Coates, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, Dawn Chorus, Picture This, Bristol & Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK and 100 Ways to Change the World, Hayward Gallery, London, UK. Forthcoming projects and exhibitions include: Agrifashionista, Grizedale/A Foundation, London, This Wild Melody, Barbican Art Gallery, London, and Manifesta 07, Trento, Italy

Matt Stokes (Born 1973) lives and works in Gateshead. In 2006 he won Becks Futures Prize and recent exhibitions include: Real Arcadia, LuttgenMeijer, Berlin, Balance, 1/9 unosunove arte contemporanea, Rome, Long After Tonight, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, Matt Stokes, Ziehersmith, New York, Matt Stokes, Attitudes espace d'arts contemporains, Geneva, Switzerland, Ocho Y Medio, Quito and Maac Cine, Ecuador, and Lost in the Rhythm, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. Stokes is currently artist in residence at Art House, Texas and later in 2008 will be artist in residence at Project Space 176, London culminating in a new commission in early 2009.