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...
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.