Murray Guy, An-My Lê, Independent
Murray Guy has announced a special presentation of photographs by An-My Lê at this year's Independent, on view from 7 to 10 March 2013.
A recipient of a 2012 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship, An-My Lê was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1960, and came to the US as a political refugee in 1975. After receiving an MFA from Yale University, Lê made several trips back to Vietnam between 1994 and 1998 to discover and photograph her native country in peacetime. Even though the war itself is not the subject of these photographs, it is all the more present because of its conspicuous absence - a "Vietnam of the mind."
Our presentation at the Independent will pair these early black-and-white photographs from Vietnam with new color works from Lê's ongoing series Events Ashore - shot in various coastal and oceanic locations around the world (West Africa, Japan, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the Arctic Circle) where the US Marines and Navy are strategically stationed to train for and deploy in current and potential conflicts. Amongst the always polarizing and mythologizing representations of military force, this body of work takes up the military's movement over the world's vast, ungovernable oceans as a site to visualize forces that today often seem beyond representation: changing global circulations of people, resources, power, and capital.
Lê's ongoing practice betrays a deep debt to the history of landscape and portrait photography-in particular nineteenth century photographers such as Roger Fenton, Timothy O'Sullivan or Gustave Le Gray, who were concerned as much with the richness of the photograph as a visual or topographic document as they were with any supposedly independent aesthetic value. Together, the two bodies of work shown at Independent exemplify An-My's approach to photography, as she delves deep into the history of the medium to explore the landscape as a contested backdrop for contemporary human ambition.
Lê will have a survey exhibition opening this September at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She has had major solo exhibitions at DIA: Beacon (2007-2008); the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2007); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2006); and P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2002), among many other institutions. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions - some of the most important exhibitions of recent times - at The Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Barbican Gallery, London; CCS Hessel Museum of Art; and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
7 - 10 March 2013
548 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
On view in the gallery:
Ear Tone Box
5 March - 20 April 2013