The Trip, 2011
1920x1080 Apple ProRes (HQ)
Filmed in London, UK
Camera and edit by Bevis Bowden
Commissioned by Serpentine Gallery in collaboration with St. John’s Hospice, London.
The Trip, 2011 is a fixed camera single channel video work that was created as part of the Serpentine Gallery's project Skills Exchange: Urban Transformation and the Politics of Care. Marcus Coates worked with outpatients at St. John's Hospice, London for 2 years from 2009. Wondering what skills and reflections on the world an artist might offer to people in the final stages of their lives, Coates began his project with the question, 'What can I do for you?' Through the ensuing conversations between Coates and his collaborators at the Hospice, many proposals emerged. One of these requests, made by the late Alex H. - the name by which he asked to be referred, was realised by the artist in 2010. Coates was given precise instructions for the trip he was to undertake on Alex's behalf. He was to travel to the Amazon Rainforest and to ask the people he encountered there a set of questions. He decided not to film or photograph the experience, but rather to rely on his own memories, impressions and the stories he collected, to enrich Alex's vision of this already imagined trip. This poignant and moving dialogue between Marcus Coates and Alex H. documents their conversations both before and directly after this journey.