The works in ‘Coyote’ are a series of portraits of the artist and her partner made in 2013-2018. The work communicates the intimacy of living together executed in the style of film stills from a movie. The piece employs the convention of the film still, whilst also being a play upon it. The characters and scenes depicted can be read as surrogates around which the viewer can generate their own plot, scene by scene. The series references Joseph Beuys’ 1974 action at René Block Gallery, New York: ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’ where Beuys spent several days in a room with a live coyote.
From this iconic work an entire series of performance documentation images were issued – later to form arts writer Caroline Tisdall’s book about the piece: Joseph Beuys: Coyote (1976). What is interesting here though, is that many of the images were in fact completely ‘staged’. Here, then, we are looking at ideas of authenticity, appropriation, and the fabrication of narrative in both film and photography.
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