Housing estates are comparable to one another – even across continents. They are often organized in concentric circles around the core city. But even within one city, contact between housing estates is rare.
The exhibition project GOING OUT OF CIRCLES in the district of Hellersdorf builds bridges within Berlin as well as further afield to partner housing estates. It asks how stereotypes of a place are formed, how they are attributed from the outside and how they are accepted and continued internally? And how in the periphery, visual strategies exist which do not impose an ›image‹ from the outside but are developed through the self-will of the residents themselves?
Stephen Willats has been making artistic interventions into the social fabric of society since the early 1960s. He involves people in the creative process of making his work and seeks to define art as a social practice. His series In Isolation leben was created in 1979/80 on Berlin's Gropiusstadt housing estate in collaboration with the resident Klaus Müller, whose large apartment in a high-rise tower is a symbol of isolation in Willats' four images. The work focuses on the physical and psychological pressures to which individuals are exposed through isolation in society. It describes in words and images a diversity of personal spaces created within set structures and anonymous architectures, and how people create self-organized social and creative networks as part of their struggle for expressions of personal identity and a sense of community.