Lakuns

 

The Lakun series is an ongoing project that explores holes in chain link fences. I am particularly interested in that which is seen through the hole, and how that can be translated into a metaphor for a more desirable ”there”. The project consists of a number of photos, paintings and installations dating from 1998 to present.

 

The word lakun refers to an empty space, a sudden gap or interruption that occurs where a ”here” (this side of the fence) becomes a ”there” (the other side). Something is lost at this point of interface, making the trajectory from one side to the other an exchange of sorts–things tend to get snagged on stray wires. This is particularly evident when the hole is used as a passage from one country to another, from one cultural sphere to another. Tiny residuals of language, identity and soul are caught in the outline of the hole.

 

My first encounter with the holes came by way of looking for points of entry to fenced-off industrial lots in fringe areas of New York. I went exploring the waterfronts of Greenpoint, Red Hook and Manhattan’s West Side piers, looking to get closer to derelict buildings and overgrown remnants of infrastructure. I started taking pictures of the landscape framed by the missing piece of fencing, liking the random character of the jagged edges and the view offered through the hole.

 

The paintings in the Lakun series are based on photographs taken in various locations in the US and Europe. The photos show parking lots, industrial areas, playgrounds and sometimes just an indeterminate green spaces– shrubs and trees on vacant lots, remote corners of urban parks and the like. That which is seen through the hole is usually given an exaggerated blur quality in the paintings, an effect referred to as bokashi in photography. The fence itself, particularly in the bigger paintings, is larger than life, bringing the hole itself to an intimate close. The holes seem to be ever pointing in the direction of a more promising beyond; toward the Western Lands.

 

 

Transmission lean-to 2007

Oil on B/W photo mounted on board 90 x 140 cm private collection