The Directors comprises five short films by artist Marcus Coates, commissioned and produced by Artangel in collaboration with individuals in recovery from lived experience of psychosis. From 4 September to 30 October 2022, the films will be screened at five separate locations in Pimlico, Westminster, in and around the Churchill Gardens Estate.
The films show Coates being directed in a restaging of each individual’s own experience of psychosis. Through the films, Coates explores how best to understand and convey these experiences rather than simply depict them, giving each first-time director creative agency to tell their story from their perspective.
Following extensive one-to-one meetings with Coates, each director chose a location of personal significance and filmed Coates performing specific aspects and recollections of their own experiences. During the filming, Coates received remote instructions from each director to ensure his performance was as authentic as possible.
Through The Directors, Coates’ intention is to find ways in which people can relate to the breadth and complexity of psychotic experiences and to help reduce cultural stigma around psychosis and mental health in general.
The Directors begins at Churchill Gardens Estate, the innovative post-war housing estate in the London Borough of Westminster comprising 1,600 homes across 32 blocks. The films will be screened in five different locations, all within walking distance. An accompanying programme of talks will explore the project and the growing public discussion around the nation’s mental health.
The Directors: Marcus Coates, Sunday 4th September – Sunday 30th October 2022 Tickets free of charge; advance booking not required artangel.org.uk/project/the-director
Opening Hours: Thursday – Saturday 3.00pm – 8.00pm Sunday 12noon – 5.00pm
Visitors will gather at The Residents’ Association Committee Room, Churchill Gardens Community Centre, where a map of the screening locations will be available.
Marcus Coates (b. 1968) lives and works in London. At the core of his work is a desire to devise processes to explore the pragmatism and insight that empathetic perspectives and imagined realities can offer. He explicitly addresses a need to create functional and inclusive languages where conventional strategies of understanding and rationalisation prove inadequate. The form and purpose of his work continues to develop in consideration to society’s needs which he responds to by working with individuals, communities, institutions, organisations and the general public.
The Directors has been made with the support of a project advisory group, including Dr Isabel Valli, psychiatrist, neuroscientist and visiting lecturer in the department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London; Peter Bullimore, who spent ten years as a psychiatric patient; Charles Fernyhough, writer, psychologist and part-time Professor of Psychology at Durham University; Laura E. Fischer, artist, researcher, lecturer and mental health activist; David Harper, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London; and Jo Loughran, a leader and strategic thinker with more than a decade of involvement with the UK charity sector, including roles at Rethink Mental Illness.