Liena Vayzman

Anagram Self Portrait with Alien Twin

These two photographs were taken years apart. In shuffling through my stacks of printed self portraits, I found the similarity between the two images, never remembering taking the second, alien-like image. Coincidentally, I realized that my first name, transliterated from the Russian language into which I was born, forms an anagram of 'Alien.' When I lived in Paris, feeling very much a foreigner for multiple reasons of marginality (as an American, a Jew, and a queer), I stenciled the word' Liena' over and over again: read another way, its said alienalienalienalien. A narrative of return thus haunts the image and language: a visual anagram of repetition and exile.