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Stephen Willats
How the World is and how it could be
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Edited by Eva Schmidt
With texts by Harald Fricke, Renate Puvogel, Eva Schmidt, Friederike Wappler. Translation by John Brodgen
Publishing and distribution Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln 2006

The catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition at MGKSiegen. In the 1990s Stephen Willats was known primarily to a small group of politically and socially interested art enthusiasts. Since then, the English artist can be seen as the father figure of a younger, conceptually and participatively working generation. In addition to art, Willats also dealt with cybernetics, systems theory and social sciences. Furthermore,  for him art had to do with sociology. He went to people far away from art institutions and asked them about their living environment, their wishes and frustrations. He always had the aspiration to be socially meaningful. To make it easier for him to be welcomed, Willats sometimes used unusual methods. In “Man from the Twenty First Century”, 1969, he put on an astronaut suit and got out of a VW disguised as a spaceship. The work of Willats is characterized not only by addressing social issues and the deliberate search for project partners from a wide variety of milieu groups, but specifically the inclusion of real, everyday life situations.

"How the world is and how it could be" is the name of the first retrospective. It comprises around 60 exhibits, which range from the first early phenomenological observations, the manifestos on the role of the artist and the early cybernetic experiments to the rich spectrum of playfully communicative strategies.

ISBN 3 935874 07 3
80 pages
23,3 × 17,5 cm
German, English


1 Exhibition