Marcus Coates, “Stoat” (1999)

Single Channel Digital Video
Duration: 3 min
Filmed in Grizedale, Cumbria, UK
Camera and sound: Miranda Whall
, Produced by Grizedale Arts

Here Coates attempts to become Stoat, a member of the weasel family. We see him stumbling along a rural stoney track, wearing home made ‘stoat stilts’. A section of 2×4 inch wood strapped to each of his feet with multiple elastic bands are the basis for each shoe, below this though are the two sections of small circular dowling protruding from each which Coates is intent on balancing on. Eventualy, after some ankle turning falls manages to find a way of striding sideways in them. The stilts, replicating the stoat’s paw print dimensions and spacing, create a physical limitation on his body which inadvertently makes his walk not dissimilar to that of a bounding stoat. The stitls are an unconscious mechanism for him to “become’ stoat and move from humanness