‘Covenant’ by Allen Williams @ CoproGallery

August 21, 2018

Is it good to contemplate death? There is the presumption of its permanence to the human condition, which can be considered merely an extension of the permanently unknowable. It is a pessimism, however, to the most extreme degree to meditate on death, which can pose startling to those so accustomed to a positive outlook. And yet positivity must still be realistic; it still must grapple with the truth of mortality. It cannot be brushed underneath the rug. But to celebrate its coming?

 

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Is the celebration of the macabre a revolt against life? Or, is it a creative expression of the very thing itself? That, despite the ghoulishness and grimness of the works by Allen Williams at the CoPro Gallery, are we seeing merely a new wrinkle of life-force which finds its power in the consumption of darkness? Yes, we must agree that life, or the “will-to-power”, must be fed a healthy diet. It cannot feast on darkness entirely. And yet, is not a little hideousness used sparingly like sweets helpful to embolden it? Can we not see dialectically the benefit to such a contrast?

 

There is goodness in imagination that explores the inconceivably terrifying, in other words. Being allergic and uncomfortable, even nauseous, when approaching such fetidness is good. There can be a gradient of goodness in even the creation of this sensation of repulsiveness! And by what mark do we see this stunningly?

 

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Perhaps most illuminating is his Birth of Death. The ostensible contradiction is visualized as an inverted womb from a pseudo Angel of Death. It is here where the sense of life is apparent – we have a more condensed formation of the thing itself; as principally an activation or excitation of being. We can see past the deathly imagery into this invisible motion of life-force, and its affirmation, albeit under the bizarre circumstances. And yet this is precisely why the account is original. That, even in a bitter eyesight the taste itself is something to be grateful for. It is something invisibly positive because it has logical ends. Thus, there is intrinsic goodness in being.

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