• Faiq Imran

Lilyan Aloma – A Renaissance of Wonder


Face It-IPhone-2020 © Lilyan Aloma


What lies beneath the surface? What lies on it?


If man were to establish the leniencies and hindrances afforded to him by visual perception, would he not go forth in tedious ubiquity? Would he ride amongst the plains in search of the next thrill? Would he move the mountains for his needs and wants, would he chase the wind that pleases the pine trees? Would he recall the innocence of childhood, be enchanted by recollections of youth, be perplexed by the vision of imminent death?

Or would he simply wait? For more of the same, for more uninspired oblivion, for the bludgeoning mediocrity of existence, for Godot?


Going In Blind-2009-Deconstruction Series © Lilyan Aloma


Perception.


What a subtle reform! To live in eternal rebirth, to seek a transforming revelation, to pursue the contorted prism that forever mystifies the face of reality. Alas! We do not deserve this gift of damning abundance! Man binds himself to social abstractions. He loses himself in the vibrancy of narratives, gives himself up to the narrow lanes of vernacular. He dies every day; unmoved, unhinged; his mind closer to the coffin than his body will ever be.


The Raven-Analog-Toy Series-2015 © Lilyan Aloma


This revelation calls man to look outward with purpose, to find spirit where he, at one time, found words. To give weight to the cleansing purity of an untutored eye. As it courses through man’s veins, he stops. Not out of inconvenience, but for revolution. He looks at the world with intention, and it presents itself to him; unfettered, unmasked, naked as a child.


As Lilyan Aloma picks up her camera, she does so in defiance of sensory conditioning as if to recall the eloquent utterance of Lawrence Ferlinghetti,


I am awaiting perpetually and forever a renaissance of wonder.”


Intersection-2016-Reflect Series © Lilyan Aloma

This renaissance of wonder, or the search of it, sits at the heart of all artist activity. It forces man to encounter a subject from infinity. It necessitated Cubist expression and Montage Theory, two works that serve as precursors and influences (even if unintentional) to Lilyan’s superimposition techniques. Film montage uses the degree of time to inform a relationship; Cubism imposes varying perspectives and varying subjects to encourage a discourse on visual epistemology. Photographic superimposition may not involve time in the mix but it is more than capable of digesting the goals of both approaches, and Lilyan makes full use of this possibility.


In ‘Billscapes’, confounding juxtapositions reflect a surreal aesthetic. The images in ‘Deconstruction’ present an abstract view of the same segment of the cityscape. In the body of work entitled ‘Reflections’, she looks deeply into the reflections of cityscapes, intentionally creating intrigue and mystery about where one reality begins and ends. All these works invoke varying connotations of Cubist spatial heterogeneity and montage-induced pathos. Whichever path she chooses to take, the subject of her fascination, more or less, stays consistent.


Time Square Times Two-Analog-Toy Camera Series-2017 © Lilyan Aloma


Cityscapes. She is in awe of them. It would be unwise and in bad taste to claim to understand the fascination behind this obsession. But, the urban lifestyle does lend itself to superimposition. While rural life is compartmentalized and delicate, the city is distorted and encroaching. From the fragmentation of the social life to the impromptu duplicities of the cosmopolitan, everything is a blur. The only way to jolt out of the phantasm is to step back and take a decided look from afar. As the ‘About’ section of her website reads, “I create images to explore my world, interior, and exterior; to discover what lies beneath my ‘seeing’. The intention of my process is to uncover the potential of what lies beyond the limits of conditioned sight and thought, calling imagination into play with virtual reality. I create to provoke and confound the viewer into a deeper awareness of his or her own powers of observation”.


How dull would life be if man were to establish the leniencies and hindrances afforded to him by visual perception?


One Way-2003-Analog-Infrared-Billscape Series © Lilyan Aloma


Quite dull indeed.

Lilyana grew up in Brooklyn but currently resides in Manhattan whose “constantly changing visual plan continues to inspire [her] to explore its physical complexity”. She names Man Ray, Magritte, Kertesz, Uelsman, Aaron Siskind, Klein, Tillmans, Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, and Erwitt as her influences. To take a look at her work, head over to https://www.alomaphoto.com.