4 Inseln in Berlin - Exhibition at National Gallery Berlin, 1980, 4 Dec 1980
4 Inseln in Berlin, 1980, was a one-man exhibition by Willats at the National Gallery, Berlin. In the exhibition, besides the installation, were four new works made by Willats during his time in Berlin with a DAAD fellowship.
In 1979, when he arrived in West Berlin, Willats drove around the city for five days to familiarise himself with the different districts.He came across the modern housing complexes of Mårkisches Viertel and Gropiusstadt which seemed to represent the ‘overt demonstrations of an institutional new reality’.He made contacts with people on these estates and later the owner of a Schrebergårten and a woman who owned a small boutique.To Willats, West Berlin at that time, was an island and the locations and people he worked with to make a series of four works lived within their own islands – be it an apartment in a tower block, or enclosed in a shop or seeking a freedom from a small flat in a garden.In co-operation with Willats, people documented their ideas about individual aspects of their situation in interviews and photographs which were then arranged as clear diagrammatic presentations.
The four related works were shown in his solo exhibition in the Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1980 with the title: Leben in vorgegebenen Grenzen – 4 Inseln in Berlin.
At the same time, the works were also exhibited in the locations in which they were made. The four works are:
Wie ich entdecke, dass wir von anderen abhängig sind
Wie ich meine Fluchtwege organisiere
Wie ich mich hier drinabgrenze
In Isolation Leben
All of the works were made in 1980 and are illustrated and discussed separately here. Other works included a series of wall drawing works and the installation made up of panels linked to each of the four main works and represented here.