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Nizhnegorodskaya Pravda, 1997
«To give all yourself is an ability of outstanding people»
Going to the exhibition of Frank Williams, an American who has been living in Russia for 4 years I did not look for “their” art and I was not going to compare world-conceptions or evaluate “our” influence. I meant to look from another view-point at our common reality, at the world we live in, in which we behave in a way that is best for us. And according to this we know only about things which are not beyond our interests.
We don’t like when somebody interferes with our lives preventing us from isolation. Do we often let even our close friends in our secret inner worlds? Williams’ art intrudes into our small houses breaking all the walls. Williams speaks the language of the world-wide cultural community that is understandable to everybody. The figures of the eagle, Jupiter, the bull, whatever their names are apply to the archetype of Father-God and bring us back to the source of the “universal human”. We are all created according to one image but do we realize the fortune and are we ready to take it in our disposition?
Williams’ heroes don’t apply to our pity whatever the reality surrounding them is. Their bravery comes from the realization of their own vitality. Our existence, our presence in this life, in my opinion, is the interest that has brought Williams to Russia.
The society can be Russian or American, but the nature of the socium is the same. It is impersonal and antihuman: the rawmaterial for the industrial machinery is either a body(street meat series) or intellect. In the work “what is social reality?” there is nothing except the head that is lacking stability and “what can a head say if it is alone?”. Where are the traits given to the human-being by God? Ancient Chanon keeps working but his boat is empty(“The time machine”)
Williams’ plastic compositions are movements of th sole and direct perception becomes a glitter on the waves of emotions. The figures concentrated in bronze, brass and wood are resonant to your inner state. In the unity of feelings interaction between a spectator and author necessary for a dialogue is achieved.
Frank Williams has got the series that is called “The Burden That Is Me”. Wars and diseases gathered during the time of human existence, fruits of socialization subsided in our conscience, psychic, and somewhere deep inside the living sole is still breathing.
The Wheel produces great impression and all the same time suppresses the spectator. It seems as if you couldn’t hide from it anywhere for it is always behind you. The bull dragging the wheel is so sensitive and he is longing for freedom from the burden that is me. “Some sacrifice must be man” not because of some ideology but because in this way your personality is realized.
Prometey, so much liked by Williams got the fire not for an abstract Man. His personal potentiality is so great that it has filled lives of many generations and his sole is still burning through the centuries. Every day we use fire which has become so usual for us “Every Day”.
Jupiter’s eagle lacerates us and somebody daily “at 5 p.m.” accomplishes a feat. The outer world was and still is cruel to the Man.
Only great people are able to give themselves day after day. To receive is no easy matter either and if we have understood each other than sympathizing with Frank Williams’ art we enter the world of values of all mankind.
By Elena Levina