NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2015 Volume 15.2 - Page 119

In exploring the work of Peter Wayne Lewis through the articulations that grid it, we enter the debates on artistic practices and invite a move beyond given limitations to more expansive visions. The series in this exhibition: Strings, Suite in Grey and Beijing Booster, Paintings from Middle Earth sketch the itinerary of this global flâneur who made of his peregrinations between Trenchtown, Jamaica; Sacramento, California; Tokyo, Japan; Hoboken, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; Bavaria, Germany; Dakar, Senegal and Beijing, China, the occasion for multiplying our understanding of forms and expressions beyond the Unicentricity that gridded certain ways of seeing and manners of being. Wayne Lewis travels as a global polymorphous esthete. The global, Ngũg1̃ argues is “that which humans in spaceships or on the international space station see”; the dialectical is the internal dynamics they do not see which is what the work of Wayne Lewis strives to reveal. This attentive flâneur, who thinks his vagabondage through, draws from it experiences for a creative potential of movement conceived as a privileged modality for the apparition of form. From physical translation to aesthetic sliding, the displacement as movement toward the other or a somewhere else is always potentially a generator of tension, an occasion for metamorphosis and finally subject for a creative work. Wayne Lewis has been developing this system-thinking-being for a number of years. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE Here, the dialectical is also erasure of the image through destruction of what it concretely represents. Thus, the iconic sign which puts in relation the qualitative similarity between the signifier and the referent loses, through articulation, its character of index or clue to affect other types of signs. In these images-traces, the given sense becomes the constructed sense, a sense that goes beyond what is directly present in the retinal image; a mental image which transcends the visible present to appear as a flourishing and fluctuating imaginary. Concrete reality transforms into an abstraction in which the image changes, becomes opaque to open the plastic space and be born-again; a migration of the sign which, in its wake, leads to a mutation of the gaze by enriching the mental functioning of the artist: rendering opaque to reveal what is hidden, covering the recto to make the verso appear, allowing the underlying objectives of erasure to rise to the surface. By dis-encumbering the gaze, the erasure searches to apprehend secret and unexplored domains beyond the borders of the pictorial. These secret spaces, although escaping the visible, would be sites for transcendence susceptible to opening the field of art. 117 If these practices do not wish to go around in circles, they must exhibit transversality in their search for that elusive elsewhere beyond hybridity, to new thought. Beijing Booster a survey of works by Peter Wayne Lewis at the Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami is not an advertisement of a conformist individualism. Rather, it is a privileging of a more discreet approach by an artist whose work retains a real liberating dimension. Moving away from reiterations of Duchamp’s display of a urinal without realizing that it has lost all its subversive charge, Wayne Lewis presents bursts of a thought that invests in and broadcasts engagements with various fields: migration, transnationalism, cosmogonies and their metamorphosing into “Globalectics”. This plural engagement with visual expressions (teaching, painting and curatorial practice) retraces a path of a “Globalectics” Ngũg1̃ wa Thiong’o defines as “…combining the global and the dialectical to describe a mutually affecting dialogue, or multilogues in the phenomena of nature and nurture in a global space that’s rapidly transcending that of the artificially bounded, such as the nation ”.1