EVERYTHING HAPPENS (1976) by Matt Williams
I wrote a more art speak-y statement about this work. If you are interested it's on my website. It is accurate but dry in a way that right now doesn't feel especially revealing or interesting to me. What I want to say about the work is this: Being a father is, among many other things, fun, frustrating, wonderful and vexing. It has introduced me to unimaginable joy and crushing sadness that I bet I would never have felt otherwise. It has made me vulnerable in a way that feels scary and stressful. I wonder if my dad feels the same way. I wonder if, when I tell my sons that, if they have any basis for understanding what I mean.
I was thinking about a lot of things when I started this project. What did I learn from my dad? Am I passing on any familial knowledge or wisdom or folly to my sons? Do I have control over those transactions? Do I know my sons and my dad any better than I know anybody else simply because they are my dad and my sons? Will my relationship with my adult sons mirror the one I have with my dad?
As I move fully into middle age my sons are poised to become adults and my father has overnight become an old man. We are all transitioning awkwardly, naturally and both consciously and unconsciously. I'm taking a closer look and coming up with a lot of questions but no answers. Oddly the frustration I feel because of that is the one thing that feels authentic about the whole process. From that I take what little solace I can.
Matt Williams lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
To view more of Matt's work, please visit his website.