A solo exhibition & book launch due medio October 2019 by Lene Marie Fossen
Curated by Ilgin Deniz Akseloglu and organised by WILLAS contemporary
Art may not always meander its way gently by mediation of the artist. Triggered by the will to express as artistic manifestation, the artist may ﬁnd herself in a maze of self-examination that requisites redeﬁnition through refusals. Sometimes, this redeﬁnition comes with greater responsibilities who do not acknowledge any other way of existence rather than becoming the bearer of a worldview through trying to exercise it in every act, as equally as in artistic practices and in living.
In this case, there is no doubt that Lene Marie Fossen’s whole being is intrinsic to her art. She is redeﬁning borders through portraiture; self-portraits and portraits of children who have been escaping from the war. Fossen’s interest in mirroring her worldview through her own image as well as through the children who have faced destruction in their short lifetime points a strong identiﬁcation that posits a questioning about the borders that separate or unify them, as she also chose to ‘stop time’ and remain as a kid.
It is puzzling to think why a child would not want to grow up, however, when it comes to Fossen’s work, one must move a bit much further to confront the deeper strata in her inquisition and consider her multi-faceted statement: why the artist she has become today is insistent on the ‘growth of life’, at the same time she did not want to grow up herself?
Lene Marie Fossen was born in Norway. She is part of a generation of people around the world who have spent a great deal of their childhood watching dead bodies of their peers on televisions. She was born around the time when Berlin Wall fell. She was just a kid while Yugoslavia was breaking up in pieces in bloodshed. She saw the picture of a vulture that is chasing slowly a crippling baby who is about to die in Africa because of famine. September 11 attacks, battle in Baghdad and the ongoing war in Afghanistan are among just a few incidents which followed soon after, and she neither could roll her eyes and look aside, nor shut them oﬀ. She saw all that was happening, and she refused premeditations that would help herself take a side and allow herself to take part. She rather chose to be The Gatekeeper and in her redeﬁnition of borders, she chose to stay at the border.
The characteristics of her incongruity as an artist did not let her rest under protection and mummify herself in muteness. Instead, today, after 20 years she has made her decision, her creative impulse still keeps her on a knife-edge, on a power wire, staring at both sides of the gateway, inhabiting a territory that exists almost only virtually and she enables access to this territory through the device of timelessness, of photography, for the others and she thinks that it needs to be seen. It is her inscription. It is her choreography. It is Lene Marie Fossen as art.