It seems Mr Willats has been writing his own press material again… Shame his interests in the society we live in and being an inspiration to young artists don’t extend any further than the gallery walls. Two years ago, a group of this ‘interested younger generation’ tried to show his work in their not for profit space, where he proceeded to be unreasonable, difficult, demanding, and shouted at them for asking too many questions about his practice and not understanding him, to the point where they pulled the show. Inspirational!
Looking forward to seeing the new work.
2nd September – 1st October 2011
MOTINTERNATIONAL is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of the highly influential and internationally revered British conceptual artist Stephen Willats. Building on two previous collaborations with the gallery, Going Home and a subsequent publication in 2006, MOTINTERNATIONAL has worked with Willats to produce a new body of work, The Information Nomad.
Stephen Willats has always been ahead of his time in terms of his thinking around art, science, sociology, cybernetics and systems analysis. By applying avant-garde concepts from these disciplines to his art making process he has been able to foresee a number of important breakthroughs in each of these fields and has been the instigator of many ideas that have gone on to shape our contemporary world. Willats has been able to consolidate these ideas through conceptual art which becomes both the model and the signifier for his investigations into the fabric of our society.
The genesis of Willats‘ working process is the conceptual diagram and two such drawings inform this exhibition, The Information Nomad and The Space Time Traveller. Both drawings consider how fragments of information travel in time towards the future and how we can study this information through different resolution frames. Willats is interested in how information changes through its’ shifting relationships and contexts. Willats applies these concepts to two new works that he is producing for the exhibition, a study of the signs of suburbia and a portrait of an urban couple and their relationship to the future.
In The Beginning is a work whereby Willats has been collaborating with a young urban family exploring their perceptions of the future, which will result in a multi paneled wall based work. He was particularly interested to work with a couple with a young child as he felt that their projections and concerns for what the future could be would be at an increased resolution. For his second installation, Signs and Messages from Suburbia, Willats circled and dissected a map of London to find four points in the suburban perimeter were he could apply a number of conceptual parameters with which to record the signs of the surrounding environment. With the collaboration of Charles Arsené-Henry and Hana Noorali, he took sound recordings, visual interpretations and film footage, which will come together in a large wall based installation combining wall diagrams, video projections and text.
Stephen Willats has continued to work at the forefront of contemporary art for over five decades. In recent years, appreciation by a younger generation has meant that his life-time’s contribution to art discourse is becoming increasingly recognised. Where some might be satisfied to allow past work to define their history Stephen Willats sees this as a symptom of last century thinking and as an artist with his eye on the future he continually strives to make new work, drawn towards a point he calls the Strange Attractor.
Stephen WIllats was born in 1943 in London, England where he currently works and lives. Solo exhibitions include: COUNTERCONSCIOUSNESS, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2010) In Two Minds, Galerie Erna Hecey, Brussels (2010) Assumptions and Presumptions, Art on the Underground, London (2007) From my Mind to Your Mind, Milton Keynes Gallery, (2007); How the World is and How it Could be, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen (2006); Changing Everything, South London Art Gallery, (1998); Meta Filter and Related Works, Tate Gallery London, (1982); 4 Inseln, in Berlin, National Gallery, Berlin, (1980) and Concerning our Present Way of Living, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, (1979).”