Drawing, in part, from her own experiences of the Vietnam War, Lê has created a body of work committed to expanding and complicating our understanding of the activities and motivations behind conflict and war. Throughout her thirty-year career, Lê has photographed noncombatant roles of active-duty service members, often on the sites of former battlefields, including those reserved for training or the reenactment of war, and those created as film sets.
This publication includes selections from her well-known series Viêt Nam, Small Wars, 29 Palms, and Events Ashore, in addition to never-before-seen images, including recent photographs from the US-Mexico border, formative early work, and lesser-known projects. Essays by the organizing curator Dan Leers and curator Lisa J. Sutcliffe, as well as a dialogue between Lê and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, address the ways in which Lê’s quiet, nuanced work complicates the landscapes of conflict that have long informed American identity.
Copublished by Aperture and Carnegie Museum of Art
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 204
Number of images: 128
Publication date: 2020-06-16
Measurements: 9.25 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches
An-My Lê’s work has been exhibited at such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lê has received many awards, including fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (1996), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997), and MacArthur Foundation (2012). She is a professor in the Department of Photography at Bard College.
Dan Leers is a curator of photography at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and organized the traveling exhibition An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain. Previously, Leers was the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, and an independent curator and consultant to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Paltz, New York), Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and 2013 Venice Biennale.
Lisa Sutcliffe is the Herzfeld Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Milwaukee Art Museum. From 2007 to 2012, she served as assistant curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Prior exhibitions include Marking Time in Photography and Film (2013), The Provoke Era: Postwar Japanese Photography, and Photography Now: China, Japan, Korea (both 2009).
David Finkel is a journalist and author whose honors include a MacArthur fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize.
Viet Thanh Nguyen is author of The Sympathizer (2015), which received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, among other awards. He is a recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and MacArthur Foundation. Nguyen is a professor and the Aerol Arnold Chair of English at the University of Southern California.