About Peter Coffin
Born 1972, Berkeley, California, USA. Lives and works: New York, USA Peter Coffin is driven by a desire to create ‘new kinds of artistic experiences for the viewer rather than drawing them into the character of the object’. His work often takes the form of events through which seemingly unrelated elements are brought into relationship with one another to reveal something beyond our regular levels of perception. Inspired by an intense curiosity, inquisition and a belief in a mystical ‘truth’, Coffin acts as the agent between disparate points of connection to create new pathways between existing images. Coffin’s recent projects have included portraits of a person’s aura captured using a specially designed Polaroid camera and constructing and flying a seven metre wide UFO controlled by text message. In Around, About, Expanded Field (Sculpture Silhouette props) 2007, Coffin reduced 40 iconic sculptures - from Jeff Koons’ inflatable bunny to an Easter Island head - to silhouette cut-outs which viewers were encouraged to place in front of a projection of landscapes filmed from above. Freeing the sculptures from their original contexts, Coffin allows them to fly, liberated, through the air. For Untitled (Tate Britain) 2009 Coffin has selected works from across Tate’s collection and combined them with a bespoke projected animation and soundtrack. The artworks remain both in their conventional habitat and simultaneously become mobilised as fictitious characters in a new narrative scenario which unfolds in real time and opens up a web of associations. Like the sculpture silhouettes in Around, About Coffin charges existing artworks with a life and mind of their own.