Stephen Willats: Languages of Dissent
Bronac Ferran, John Kelsey, Andrew Wilson, Heike Munder
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst / Scheidegger & Spiess, 2019
Born in London in 1943, Stephen Willats is a pioneer of conceptual art and has, over the course of more than five decades, created a multi-faceted body of work. This book focuses on two key aspects of Willats’ art. Cybernetics, the control of dynamic systems, in which he has taken a keen interest, serves him as method, aesthetic vocabulary, as well as a formal model. Subcultures that promote non-conformism and self-determination constitute another focal point in his wide-ranging work. The book offers a new approach to Willats’ art from multiple different perspectives. A comprehensive selection of both earlier and more recent works, some of them published here for the first time, is complemented by essays. The authors investigate that particular creative sphere in between cybernetics, architecture, and subculture within which Willats questions normative, regulating power structures and aims to discover personal freedom and alternative thought patterns.