Willats Chapter 4

From Paradise

Jump to: navigation, search


S.R. Another thing you mentioned, which publication was it? A setup of groups who communicated ... I can't remember which one.//Maybe one of these books?//

S.W. This work here from the early 70s. Just like the visual homeostat drawing you just saw, from 68. That diagrammatic representation – as I said an idea could exist at different levels of resolution. On one hand I was working to generate these models but on the other hand I'm implementing them. Near the early 70s, late 60s I initiated a series of works which demonstrated a number of things: one, that the work of art could operate directly within a community, externally from existing art institutions; it can operate within the fabric of that community and can take on the meanings and language of that community; it would have to do that to operate, that it would have to be seen to have a level of priority within that community, to engage people. There was a series of logical tenets, a kind of flow from this initial desire to operate within the fabric of society which I sort of took on board at that time; one was... to see that the work of art existed in relationship... to operate in that context it would have to operate with these variables, would have to be able to know who's the audience of the work of art would be, the language of the audience, the things that were important to the audience... beliefs; there was a kind of interrelationship between these three variables. Initially I started with some experimental in Ipswich in 65 which took place on housing estates which took place around Ipswich and involve people directly in the process of developing a work of art. So that there is a connection between the audience of the work and the originator of the work. This seemed to be important. I had a restricted audience specified to be these people, living in this neighborhood. I was influenced by the work of Basil Bernstein at the time, he was an educational psychologist who was working on restricted language codes, and I could see this relationship between language, meaning and context. Therefore this required, before the work of art was even developed, a kind of research, reconnaissance in the neighbourhood in which it might take place.


Stephen Willats »