Stephen Willats

Personal Display - Multiple Clothing, 1997

'Personal Display' presents an open invitation for anyone you encounter to involve themselves in developing the message on the mosaic of texts you are displaying. The mosaic is made up of words associated with the basics of interpersonal preception that are displayed on text cards, a full set being kept in a pocket at the top of the garment. Text cards are taken out of the pocket and selected to form different combinations that are then attached to Personal Display by clips so as to build up the mosaic. The full set of text cards forms a thesaurus of possibilities, denoting basic areas in interpersonal perceptions, such as identity, action, intention, but any combination and preference can be made and all are equally valid, there being no right or wrong way to organise the mosaic.
The dependence of the wearer on other people to build up and effect changes in the mosaic with its very prominent and public nature creates a psychological realm on which you can either accept the passivity of the situation and your dependence on other people's involvement, or actively influence what they might select. So, in wearing Personal Display you create a performance wherever you go, the experiences you have with other people being an essential element in the intention of the work. The resulting mosaic of text cards that follow from your encounters with people are expressions of collaboration, of how someone perceives their relationship with you and how you feel they should respond to what you want to say about yourself.'
Multiple Clothing, Designs 1965 - 1999, Stephen Willats, pub. Walther König, Cologne, 2000

Stephen Willats: Personal Display - Multiple Clothing

Personal Display - Multiple Clothing. 52.5cm x 64cm. Poster paint, ink, Letraset text on paper