Join artist An-My Lê for a thought-provoking conversation with BMA Associate Curator Ann Shafer. Co-sponsored by the BMA’s Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art and Print, Drawing & Photograph Society and MICA’s Department of Photography.
Meet the artist! On Saturday, October 12, MacArthur Foundation grant winner An-My Lê will participate in an artist’s talk with Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Ann Shafer. The event will be held at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Brown Center Falvey Hall at 2 p.m. Admission is free. No registration is required.
American photographer An-My Lê’s (born 1960, Vietnam) work examines the multi-layered roles the
military plays across a variety of settings without focusing on actual combat or war zones. Regarding
herself as a landscape photographer, she frames her subjects on immense backdrops to highlight the
tension between the power of the natural world and the force of humans and their machines. Lê and
her family came to the United States as political refugees in 1975 during the final year of the Vietnam
War, which has had a strong impact on her work. Her most recent series, Events Ashore (2005-present),
features large color images taken on board aircraft carriers and hospital ships where the U.S. has
military outposts, is supporting scientific missions, or is engaged in humanitarian aid.
Works from three earlier series explore the disjunction between wars as historical events and the
ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness.
Vietnam (1994-98) includes images of life in that country, such as kites flying in a large field, which could
look more ominous to someone with memories of that conflict. Small Wars (1999-2002) shows Vietnam
War reenactors in Virginia and North Carolina engaging in what some may consider a bizarre hobby. 29
Palms (2003-04) reveals preparations for deployment to Iraq amidst the grand desert landscape at the
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms, California.