artist / participant
Cult explores the forces of group psychology through the use of video and sculptural elements to investigate the phenomenon of the outsider encountering the group. The installation features a low platform in the middle of the darkened gallery space with a gathering of nine plinths dispersed around the platform. Each plinth possesses a 'head' - a video monitor showing the staring face of a black and white cat.
The viewer first experiences the group from a distance, the monitor screens providing the only source of light. Moving onto the platform and amongst the screens, visitors are made aware that each cat is moving, but barely perceptibly. From any position, only two or three of the cats' faces are visible. Each cat goes through a cycle of opening and closing their eyes, of waking and sleeping and each cycle remains dogmatically out of sync with its neighbours.
Marion Coutts talks of this work as a "watch, or a vigil". Tense and uneasy, the installation is replete with flickering gazes and anxious eye-contact. Cult's physical elements create a taut compound of animal, machine, statue and totem. The work acknowledges that the 'cult object' is simultaneously dedicated to its devotees - and yet totally divorced from them.
Marion Coutts lives and works in London and works in sculpture, film and video. She uses a minimal language to transform readymade material. Her work explores the formal and functional life of objects, the routines and repetitions of behaviour. Exhibitions include To be continued…at Helsinki Kunsthalle (2005); Tablet, London (2005); Troubleshooting, Arnolfini, Bristol (2001); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2000). In 2003-04 she was the Kettle’s Yard Artist Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge and previously artist in residence at Tate Liverpool (2001) in 1999 was a Rome Scholarship holder at the British School at Rome.