Coyote. A Film Sequence by London-based photographer and director Monika K. Adler (b. 1982, Poland) is a series of portraits of the artist and her partner taken between 2013 and 2018. The sequence of dark and grainy shots plays out like a movie, laying bare a story of intimacy.
The title refers to Joseph Beuys’ 1974 performance at René Block Gallery in New York called "I like America and America Likes Me", where the artist spent several days in a room with a wild coyote, continuously researching the harmony between man and nature.
Similar to Beuys, Adler’s series deals with the contradictory relationship between the individual and primordial instincts. Through everyday portraits and self-portraits, Coyote paints a picture of the desire of two individuals - lovers, who scrutinise, observe and possess themselves and each other. The complexity of living together becomes clear through the combination of distance and proximity between the two partners.
Many photographs of Beuys’ performance turned out to staged. By referring to this, Adler asks questions about authenticity, appropriation and narrative in film and photography. Just because something looks real, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.