Title Vision Quest – A Ritual for Elephant & Castle
Artist Marcus Coates
Format Documentary (feature length)
Exhibition dates 12th – 29th April 2012
Location Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Southwark, London
Vision Quest is a feature length documentary set in the South London neighborhood of Elephant & Castle. The video documents Marcus Coates’ personal journey over a three-year residency period, in the Elephant & Castle neighborhood. The residency included ‘A Ritual for Elephant & Castle’, a shamanic music fuelled ritual performed in collaboration with Chrome Hoof & Wildbirds & Peacedrums, at the Coronet Theatre on the 5th of June 2009.
The Vision Quest documentary follows Marcus Coates as he endeavors to locate animal spirits to guide a community experiencing a disruptive redevelopment scheme. For this unlikely urban adventure, a group of residents from the iconic Heygate Estate*, local politicians from Southwark Council and the psychedelic doom rock orchestra Chrome Hoof, collectively embark on a journey into the depths of neighborhood, presenting an alternative, inventive and entertaining approach to dealing with contemporary social issues, such as gentrification & the economic crisis.
A Vision Quest is a rite of passage undertaken in the pursuit of knowledge. This often lasts for a number of days while the individual communicates with the spirit world. Usually, a guardian animal will come in a vision or dream to guide the individual towards truth.
Nomad is proud to announce the debut presentation of Vision Quest as part of a site-specific installation within a disused department store in the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, London.
* Completed in 1974, the Heygate’s generously sized flats were initially popular with council tenants, but the estate gradually struggled with a reputation for violence and deprivation during the Thatcher era. Today, the estate is 99% vacated, save for a small number of leaseholders. It presently awaits demolition.