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A Day Out Cloud Gate
Freedom, by Zenos Frudakis - Scintillating Sculptures
1092    Dibyendu Banerjee    19/10/2020

Installed in front of the GSK World Headquarters in Philadelphia in the United States, and created by Zenos Frudakis, the 20 feet long and 8 feet high evocative sculpture called Freedom is a spontaneous manifesto about the struggle of mankind for the achievement of freedom. It depicts a human figure in four movements, in the process of extracting himself from the exterior wall, until three iterations later, it runs free, arms aloft across the pavement. The Freedom signifies the universal cry, need, and sincere effort of mankind to break free from a chained system or situation, be it an internal struggle or adverse circumstance.

freedom by zenos frudakis

Although there are four human figures in the sculpture called Freedom, the work actually depicts one figure moving from left to right, and the four different figures are used to represent the different stages of the struggle for freedom, till it is attained at the very last phase.

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The first figure, a relatively unformed, or pale like a mummy or a dead body, locked into the background, is an integral part of the base of the opus. It represents the much-yearned freedom by mankind held captive by the society, and the circumstances associated with it. It addresses only the illusion of freedom, while still bound. The second frame in the row represents the beginning of the process of liberation when a person desperately seeks to find the personal identity within the society and tries to break the shackles of unwanted imposed restrictions.

freedom by zenos frudakis

A reminiscent of Rebellious Slave, the wonderful sculpture by Michaelangelo, the second figure in the sculpture titled Freedom depicts the first stir of the figure, the beginning of his struggle to escape. The figure in the third frame has successfully extracted his body from the wall that held him in captivity and is stepping out, reaching for freedom, with his left hand stretched forward as if seeking to touch the free world.

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Finally, the fourth figure represents an entirely free and victorious man, completely away from the wall and the hell of the prison of social bondage that he left behind, and enjoying his freedom as he runs across the sidewalk with his arms aloft as a symbol of ecstasy of liberation.

freedom by zenos frudakis

Influenced by Gates of Hell, created by Auguste Rodin, Freedom crafted by the American sculptor Zenos Frudakis is the most widely recognized public sculpture installed in downtown Philadelphia. Apart from the four emerging figures, the wall of the monument contains many smaller sculptures like the sculptor's small preliminary mode, the bronze's maquette, casts of tools which the artist used to make this sculpture, the pet cat that the artist had for 20 years, his own face, coins, and some other faces. The anatomical man as well as portraits, figures, and reliefs are shown partially sculpted, revealing the process of creation. A vacant space, entitled ‘stand here’ was also created along the wall, where people could stand and become a part of the composition.

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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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