© Simon Coates 2019

film

selected film work and projects

Knowing Everything About Price But Nothing About Value

2017

Filmed at Al Aqaa in the United Arab Emirates, Knowing Everything... reflects on the danger of duplicity in modern consumerism. 

4 minutes 41 seconds

Zola Panama

2016

In 2015 a lifeboat was washed ashore in Fujairah on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates. Research revealed that it belonged to a tanker named Zola registered in Panama. Zola had disappeared off the coast nearby. There was no sign of any survivors. The Zola Panama artwork features a film of the lifeboat as it lies empty on the beach.  The soundtrack to the film is made from sounds recorded in and around the craft in early 2016.

5 minutes 49 seconds

We Lived and We Saw (with sara al haddad)

2014

عشنا وشفنا (We Lived and We Saw) is a collaboration between Emirati artist Sara Al Hadad and Simon Coates.

عشنا وشفنا is a reflection on gender politics, both in the Middle East and worldwide.  The video piece shows Sara embroidering a large quilt, sitting cross-legged on the ground in the same way as women have traditionally sat to carry out their embroidery works.

The soundtrack has its basis in a field recording Coates made at an Emirati wedding, wherein the genders are segregated and the man dance, chant and drum.

4  minutes 55 seconds

if you like

2012

A piece that uses the separation of a father and son as its central theme, If You Like is a reflection on absence and the value of advice. As the technology of communication streams advance and international citizens and family members can talk across the miles, has the quality of thought and information proffered advanced as well?


For If You Like comedian Bob Mortimer steps into a more literary role as he struggles to offer ideas over a barrage of noise.  The boy in the piece is listening, sometimes even miming back words from the narration. But, in the end, what is the value of what he is hearing? The boy is Bob’s son, Tom.

4 minutes 52 seconds

Spanish Radio Debates Make Me Sick

2012

Spanish Radio Debates… is a meditation on the affordability of institutional financial credit. The narrator, renowned English performance artist Caroline Smith, reflects on an imagined conversation wherein she attempts to unravel the seeming futility of offering help to those who simply cannot afford it.

Fueled by the absurdity and the danger of the myriad credit packages offered by the international banking community, the piece also features European Acrobatic Gymnastics champion Poppy Spalding using semaphore flags as a warning tool.

3 minutes 28 seconds

Caveat Agnus Dei

2011

The narration tells of the consequences of electing a dictator. The imagery shows a woman, her head covered, using sign language to spell out the word caveat.

6 minutes 28 seconds