GREG GIRARD in conversation with AN-MY LÊ

This conversation will not focus primarily on the city of Saigon, but rather the ways its “fall” has radiated out: from the trauma of this watershed event in two countries, to Lê’s family upheaval and the shaping of her life and work. An-my Lê’s work was on display earlier this year in a career survey titled “On Contested Terrain” at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam An-My Lê was a teenager when she and her family were evacuated by the US military in the days before the city fell to North Vietnamese army forces in April 1975. Settling in California, Lê would first study biology. Later, in the early 1990s, she began her career as a photographer, returning to Vietnam to look at the country of her birth. Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s subsequent work has dealt with the representation of war in popular culture and depictions of the US military at home and abroad. An-My Lê has garnered fellowships from the Tiffany Comfort Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is currently a professor at Bard College.