On Contested Terrain is published on the occasion of the first comprehensive exhibition of An-My Lê’s work, organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art. Throughout her career, Lê has photographed sites of former battlefields, spaces reserved for training for or reenacting war, and the noncombatant roles of active service members. She is part of a lineage of photographers who have adapted the conventions of landscape photography to address the human traces of history and conflict, but is one of the few who have experienced the sights and sounds associated with growing up in a warzone.
The publication includes selections from Viêt Nam (1994-98), a series made on Lê’s return, twenty years after her family was evacuated by the US military and 29 Palms (2003-4), made on the eponymous military base built as a training ground during the Iraq War. It will also include many new and never-before-published images. Texts by curators Dan Leers and Lisa Sutcliffe and an interview between Lê and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, address how Lê’s work complicates the landscapes of conflict that have long informed American identity.