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Stephen Willats, In the Beginning, 2011, mixed media. Installation view.

Stephen Willats

Balice Hertling | 47 bis Rue Ramponeau

Stephen Willats, In the Beginning, 2011, mixed media. Installation view.

Stephen Willats's Super 8 film A Progression of Signs, one component of his mixed-media work In the Beginning, 2011, recalls Hollis Frampton’s Zorns Lemma, 1970. In both films, shots of public space click by in a steady rhythm: street signs, homemade posters, advertising, litter. Frampton gives each of his New York sites a linguistic equivalent, decontextualizing and ordering it as a letter of the alphabet. In contrast, the images in A Progression of Signs remain part and parcel of Lewisham, the London neighborhood in which they were filmed. A newly married couple recorded the footage in the area around their apartment building. It plays on a floor-level television to the left of three collages of photographs of the couple’s apartment and interview quotes about their expectations for the future. Arrows connect the collage elements: Toothbrushes point to garbage cans, a childhood

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