Sculpture - A live performance by Frank Moore

1982-1983, U.C. Berkeley Art Museum, Bancroft Way

On Frank Moore's "sculpture—a live performance"

by Jeanne Brick, 1982


I have been to the Berkeley Museum a couple of times and quite frankly it was enough for me. I find myself quickly bored by looking at most art exhibits - I do get turned on by art but most often I get bored quickly unless it's something I'm going to see specifically or have already developed a taste for.


But this Saturday morning was different because the museum was having its annual t-shirt sale - which I missed and had known about last year. I like the idea of going to the museum and a t-shirt sale sounded interesting - if not for the t-shirts, then for the fun of watching the people buying them. Besides, I was at the Cafe Roma and done with my coffee.  Also, it was free admission.


One thing that does sustain my interest for a while in the Berkeley Museum is the architecture-concrete ramps jutting out in a circular pattern.


I had been hanging out watching the t-shirt buyers on the lower level for a few minutes when I noticed there was an electronic computerized voice wafting in from above. It took a few seconds for me to have the recognition that it was Frank-having been introduced to his computer talk board just the day before. So that's when my museum excitement began! I ran up towards the sounds and found Frank sitting between two other art pieces-only they were on the wall. There he was beeping out some messages and it was just obvious that he was a human art piece-with which people could actively participate. It just made complete sense, for reasons my mind couldn't quite articulate at that moment that Frank was the art and the artist performing by interacting. The effect it had on me-was fascinating, mind boggling, completely natural, fun and exciting. In fact, the only other museum experience that I can compare it to in terms of engagingly interesting was when I was seven years old my parents took me to the museum to see the Faberge Easter egg collection. My child in me delighted! And so too with Frank.


Well, I stood and watched Frank through several pieces as he received museum browsers into his performing act. I even recall hearing one small boy wanting to see the "mechanical man".


At one point a woman carrying a balloon approached Frank with her two children. There was something very vulnerable, very human, very moving as I watched. It was like watching the metamorphose of interaction-like the way a dog sniffs things out, or someone tests to see if the ice will hold if I take another step-the thing with Frank is that the ice always holds.

In this woman I could see kindness, curiosity, politeness turning into strong interest, fascination, laughing and openness as she kept taking one more step out on the ice. I watched her discover fun and then enjoy playing. I think I was having as much fun watching as she had being there.

This website was created and is maintained by Michael LaBash Graphic Design

Copyright 2018 Inter-Relations. Last modified February 4, 2018