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New York Times Opinion “A Photographer’s American Road Trip” An-My Lê October 27, 2020
An-My Lê:Family Under the Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge, Texas-Mexico Border, 2019. New York Times, October 27, 2020.
Reprinted from the New York Times:
These past four years, I’ve been on a photographic road trip of the United States. It often seems that there are two Americas, left and right, looking at the same place from radically different and irreconcilable perspectives.
An-My Lê: New York Times, October 27, 2020. L: St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, Washington D.C., 2020 R: Oval Office Set, ‘Saturday Night Live,’ NBC Studios, New York, N.Y., 2018
This week I found myself on the grounds of the White House. It was a drizzly, dreary morning. Dug up sections of the lawn adjacent to a lineup of broadcast tents appeared like graves. A theater of the real. I photographed Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who is all about work, in his Capitol office. On his coffee table lay a biography of the “Silent General,” Ulysses S. Grant.
An-My Lê: New York Times, October 27, 2020. L: Sugar Cane Field, November 5, Houma, Louisiana, 2016 R: Cars along the Rio Grande, U.S.-Mexico border, Ojinaga, Mexico, 2019.
There are many types of power and means of taking measure of the powerful. Many of my photographs are made out of a profound sense of powerlessness but also out of a desire to locate power and authority in unexpected places: in the natural world, in a solitary border patrol officer or in the intimacy and strength of a family under a bridge that connects the United States to Mexico. These images are reminders to me that our American landscape and the communities within it transcend this cultural and political moment.
An-My Lê: New York Times, October 27, 2020. L: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer, Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge. R: Mexico Customs and Border Protection Officer, Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge. Ojinaga, Mexico. Both 2019
An-My Lê was a 2012 MacArthur fellow, and a survey of her work is at the Carnegie Museum of Art, in Pittsburgh, through January. She teaches photography at Bard College. You can see the entire “A Photographer’s American Road Trip” on the New York Times website by clicking here.
LTI_Lightside has been working with An-My Lê since 2018.