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Journey to the Lower World


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This book 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. Coates has insistently considered our relationship to nature: where in previous projects he has adopted the techniques of scientific observation, in Journey he embodies the role of the ‘shaman’ to create a colourful collision of life in a working class Liverpool Tower block and new age spirituality.

Edited by Alec Finlay, Journey to the Lower World is a shamanic performance by Marcus Coates, after a traditional Siberian Yakut ritual. The book also features a DVD by Marcus Coates, photographs by Nick David and writings by Mark Wallinger and JJ Charlesworth.

“The work treads a fine line between pathos and bathos. It is touching because it has enacted the fears and vulnerability of audience, which are real enough if ultimately unknowable, and finds its own strange way to an image of hope for them to take away” – Mark Wallinger

Limited Edition of 1000, platform project and morning star, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2005, book, 96 pages, colour photographs throughout, 25.5cm x 21cm. DVD-PAL, 29 minutes.
ISBN 978-2954683161