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.
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