Mile 8.9 by Marius Lehene
Many of Lehene’s recent works, like the one here, are built as multiple
images woven together by transferring one layer onto another in order to open up interfering parallel visual worlds. These works reflect an interest in describing simultaneous locations and in multiplying the point of view to relativize its importance, possibly to disintegrate it entirely. The physical process of making – in which an homage to Jack Whitten is implicit – yields an ambiguity that he considers the proper medium of his work. Source-images come from the three cultural environments that contribute to Lehene’s flaky sense of identity (Romanian, American and Indian); issues of memory, history, identity, absence, transience and discontinuity appear in and motivate the work – matter with and without meaning. Lehene is interested in layering
because it encapsulates time and is ambiguous in its oscillation between revealing and obscuring. The visual accumulation comes from and addresses an awareness of the perpetual re-orientation, re-interpretation – including self re-interpretation – that is typical of the immigrant experience he belongs to. The canvas as well as what happens on it becomes a space without place that reveals meaning only when set in motion, shifting from one thing to another.