January 6, 2016 - January 31, 2016
For Exit Wounds: Soldiers’ Stories–Life after Iraq and Afghanistan, photographer Jim Lommasson has composed evocative environmental portraits of American veterans who have recently returned home from military service. Excerpts from the artist’s interviews with each soldier, as well as smaller snapshots that he or she took while overseas, help to form a more complete picture of each veteran’s experience abroad and subsequent reintegration into everyday life.
“As a society, we need to understand that a consequence of sending soldiers to war is that the war comes home with every veteran…In addition to their own experiences, they bring home first-hand knowledge of the impact of war on the civilians caught in the crossfire. The soldiers need to tell their stories, and we need to hear them. We must know the true consequences of their—of our—actions. We must take responsibility for the aftermath of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as at home.”
Jim Lommasson is a freelance photographer and author living in Portland, Oregon, who participated in Blue Sky’s inaugural 1975 group exhibition. This will also be Lommasson’s second solo show at the gallery. His photography has been exhibted extensively at such venues as the Portland Art Museum and Camerawork Gallery in Portland, Oregon, as well as the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Boston. His work is housed in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Yale University. Lommasson received the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for his first book, Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice and The Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms, and in 2009 Oregon State University Press published Oaks Park Pentimento: Portland’s Lost and Found Carousel Art. His most recent book, Exit Wounds: Soldiers’ Stories–Life After Iraq and Afghanistan, was published this year. Lommasson was awarded a 2011 Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grant for What We Carried as well as a 2012—2016 Oregon Humanities Conversation Project Grant for his public discussion, “Life after War: Photography and Oral Histories of Coming Home.”