These beautiful monoprints by Mark Francis Williams serve as a reminder to the passing of time, the transience of life and the truth that nothing is forever.
Currently living in Bucharest Williams has become all to aware of the transformation of this city in a post Soviet era, a city that has embraced Western capitalism, throwing up glittering shopping malls and office buildings, shiny new edifices to consumer culture. This sense of hyper reality, homogeneity and permanence has led him to create prints that stand in opposition to our deluded belief that we are at the end of history, that globalization and capitalism is the height of human endeavour.
Williams has turned to the remnants of the past to glean a new vision of the future, he has fed into the old city, the decaying architecture of streets and buildings that have yet to be destroyed, pulled down and replaced, and channelled their honesty and fractured beauty into his art. His beautiful etchings are a riposte to the gleaming new future. His portraits of people, decayed, withered by time, effected by circumstance, life and experience seek to reflect the preciousness of life, the beauty of a moment rather than revel in the immobility of infinity and immortality that capitalism is determined to convince us of.
Yes they are striking images, yes they are the mark of a technically gifted artist but above all they are a salutary reminder of our insignificance in the face of time, they are a socio – political statement about our society and where we are going. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
Thus my practice is centered on the passing of time, on instability and change. It is an attempt to respond to the transient present rather than to conjure up some notion of immortality. This philosophy is carried through into my working methods and I have devised a process that allows for control as well as accident. Subsequently, a dialogue is formed between the content and the medium. The volitional outcome of the work reflects the dichotomy that exists between the tangible and the ethereal and between one’s sense of location and dislocation.
My aim is to arrive at an orderly disorderliness or disorderly orderliness.