My father and I drove a lot when I was a kid. It was our Sunday routine: get in the car, drive. We usually had some loose interpretation of where we wanted to go—the beach, a new Sizzlers, out to see a lake if we could find one. Most of the time, we’d never get where we wanted to go, but always ended up somewhere we wanted to be. Often, the car would break down and we’d enjoy being stuck at an intersection waiting for the tow. When reading Alex Lemon’s
work, I feel the same way I did when I was a kid—that it’s not so important where I end up, that I will infinitely enjoy the route taken, knowing every mile or so that something new and strange and wondrous will appear.
This verbal and visual collaboration between Molly Bendall & John O'Brien
claims a spatiality of meaning. Bendall's verse is "strewn now" about O'Brien's underlying expansive landscape sketches. By placing words over maps, the words must be seen in a spatial arrangement as each letter and word corresponds to the location it covers. We are left asking: What are the borders between the words and the visuals? We recognize the words as words, but that line between word and visual is blurred. Words can be a guide towards meaning in the same way that maps can be a guide toward a location. The word and map by themselves do not indicate meaning or location. Each is just varying gradations of gray and black on a white page. The reader or viewer takes these raw elements—marks on a page—and turns them into a space of meaning.