An-My Lê

February 4, 2010 - February 28, 2010

from "29 Palms"

Image © An-My Lê, courtesy The Lannan Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Photography

from "29 Palms"

Image © An-My Lê, courtesy The Lannan Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Photography

from "29 Palms"

Image © An-My Lê, courtesy The Lannan Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Photography

from "29 Palms"

Image © An-My Lê, courtesy The Lannan Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Photography

An-My Lê

29 Palms

An-My Lê’s photographs and films examine the impact, consequence, and representation of war through the violent transformation of the natural landscape into both real and fictional battlefields. Lê explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous portrayal of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and the collective consciousness of our time.

Lê’s “29 Palms” (2003–2004) documents United States Marines conducting war exercises in a virtual Middle East constructed in the California desert. Lê captures the Marines rehearsing a fictional war staged in preparation for an actual one. The Marines play the part of their adversaries as they act out the war to come.

An-My Lê was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1960. Lê fled Vietnam with her family as a teenager in 1975, the final year of the war, eventually settling in the United States as a political refugee. Lê received BAS and MS degrees in Biology from Stanford University (1981, 1985) and an MFA from Yale University (1993). She has received many awards, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (1996). She has had major exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2006); ICP Triennial (2006); P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2002); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997). An-My Lê lives and works in New York.

“29 Palms” is on exhibition as part of Unfolding Time: Vietnamese Photography, Then and Now.