• Ideas
  • Feb 24, 2020

Complicated truths: Interview with An-My Lê

Portrait of *AN-MY L

An-My Lê’s intrepid sensibility is felt in her work. The Saigon-born photographer was raised in the United States following the break of the Vietnam war. She worked for the artisan organization Compagnons du Devoir in France in the mid-1980s, which influenced her to develop an overlapping interest in histories, geopolitical agendas, and the entanglement of national identity. She adopts seemingly photojournalist conventions by working with a long-view camera, yet, beyond her methodology there is little to link her practice with news reportage. Her intentions to extend the common purview and offer the possibility of counter-narratives are often achieved with capturing the other side of the zeitgeist. Stylized and dramatic images of the likes of army training camps and immigrant workers picking fruits are presented with cinematographic qualities. With this aesthetic citation, Lê probes the realities and myth complexities of photo making. Cleo Roberts met with the artist on the occasion of her first solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery in London, “Silent General,” to discuss her methods, her thoughts on photojournalism, and the inspiration behind her works.