Installation «Hollow Victory»
The information (Frank Williams)
This piece has been in the making for twenty one years…… actually!
In 1985 I was approached by a young Houston, Texas business man to create a sculpture to be a present to the Soviet Union. This was of course during the Reagan / Gorbachov era of Glasnost!
The invitation was, I think, a spontaneous fantasy of this fellow's after returning from a visit to Russia that year. I believe he felt empowered to push for such a grand gesture due to his excursion here to Moscow and Russia's tourist venues around the capitol region. As I would learn in later years Russia and the Russian people are seductive, challenging and provoke a desire to become involved. This young guy was hooked and I feel he wanted to endear himself to this intriguing place and further his possibilities.
Well I took him seriously and pursued the concept with my usual manic enthusiasm. I ultimately produced a model titled "Doorman". Having to do with the concept of opening minds and borders to embrace the family of man; breaking down the barriers of misunderstanding
"Doorman" did not make it as the young gentleman's present! He had other fish to fry after recovering from his post trip euphoria.
But, the concept of this sculpture led me into a group of pieces I referred to as the "Mechanic Series". Of the pieces in this series the hallmark work was, "The Mechanic" a sculpture begun that same year in 1985 and completed in 1986. Initially it was the upper half of a classically muscular male figure with projected arms. The molds I took from the clay original were waste molds made of plaster and meant to produce only one casting. But after the virgin cast, in resin and fiber glass, there were mold fragments clean enough to recast in and create some pretty interesting shapes and textures that I used as figurative fragments in a variety of materials for much of the ensuing series over the next year or two.
In 1993 when I moved my studio to Moscow "The Mechanic" came with the shipment as disassembled pieces packed away in boxes. On arriving and after eventually establishing a studio in working condition I had molds taken of the Mechanic's figurative fragments in hopes of utilizing the pieces as a 'whole' and a variety of other fragmented smaller works all to be cast in bronze.
Eventually I produced two full torso sections cast in bronze. With the first torso I recreated a tribute to Steven Hawkings titled "Steven Hawkings' Heart". The original tribute had been made of less durable materials in 1987 or 88. However with the second bronze torso I hadn't a clue what to do, or what to say.
So it went into storage for ten or twelve years; shelved as they say.
In 2003 or 04 I brought out the bronze torso and a collection of other incomplete cast images. This due to financial realities that wouldn't let me go forward with new bronze work at the time. Costs were increasing in Moscow and my depleted cash reserves were inadequate to keep abreast. I brought out things that had laid in gestation for some time bolstering my options and adding to my conceptual reserves.
At first I toiled over a few sketches, but nothing I felt that strongly about. I was in fact reluctant to use this old torso image in something new?
Ultimately I gave myself a deadline to use the fragment and started surfacing the bronze and making a few internal structural additions for mounting. I was doing this in between the various processes of a commission I was involved with in spring of this year, 2006.
From the sketches and newer ideas I decided on an initial approach to the completion, but I didn't know what I was saying other than maybe some metaphor for 'strength' or 'victory'.
As I pursued the sculpture the concept clarified in process, and at last I had a moment of realization and I knew what the torso meant to me!
At the time of it's resurrection from my storage troves it had no sense of worth to me other then its cost of production and as a piece that might be commercially viable upon completion. It seemed worthless in a way and more work on this old concept was not very enticing. It was hollow and void of new intent for me because I had played out numerous images related to the original "Mechanic" idea and its fragments.
And that was my answer:
-The torso is literally hollow, you can see right through it!
It was a personal declaration of my feelings about this revival related to the long process of its completion.
And at once it referred to its original stimulus and contemporary world events that, in retrospect or examination, were without core value.
-The young business man's unsubstantiated request for me to pursue the gift sculpture design in 1985-
-The victory of capitalism over communism which destabilized so many lives for so many years and is still resolving itself-
-Israeli dominance over the Palestinians and the ongoing hostilities without clear victory, much less peace-
Or the Israel's murderous invasion and destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure in the summer of this year, 2006-
-Russia's war of punishment in Chechnya and the recent assassinations to quite dissident voices-
-And of course more then any of the above, The U.S. war in Iraq in particular the premature declaration of victory by President of the United States, George W. Bush!
In the broad stroke, any victory one chooses to discuss shows loss on the side of the victor as well as the vanquished. Ultimately the hollowness of the victory can be dredged from the remains of any faction's triumph over another.
Victory is transient and flags with history's ever changing circumstances. What we win, we win through loss and sacrifice and the price of victory can only be measured from the pinnacle of future reflections.
Frank Williams, Moscow
Тексты к скульптурам Фрэнка Уильямса