Renowned photographer An-My Lê presents works from the
recent series Events Ashore in her
current solo exhibition at Murray Guy. These photographs continue Lê’s exploration into the manner by which humans invest a landscape with their own values and objectives. The works depict her travels to the
coasts of Antarctica, Australia, California, Iraq, Japan, and Kuwait between
the years 2005 and 2008, where she tracked scientific teams and military
personnel as they research and protect the world’s vast oceans.
The captured landscapes posit an inherent irony—the ultimate
struggle between protecting the treasures of the natural terrain, and the human
need to dominate and manipulate it according to our desires. The photograph M-246 Semi Automatic
Weapon, Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal, Iraq (2007) is a pertinent demonstration of this paradox, as it captures a gun
positioned atop a simple wooden table in an oil terminal, aimed at no more than
the great expanse of the ocean. With an exceptional sensitivity to both the landscape and its
inhabitants, Lê encapsulates man’s powerful intervention into nature’s idyllic
surroundings—forever altering its course to satisfy earthly needs.
*Images: Offload, LCACs and Tank, California, 2006; Trap Rock (shoot II), 2006; M-246 Semi Automatic Weapon, Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal,
Iraq, 2007. All archival pigment prints and courtesy the An-My Lê and Murray Guy.