Sioux City, IA
Anna Reich is Assistant Professor of Photography at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. The exhibition contains selections from two recent series of documentary photographs she has taken of military personnel.
The most recent series is a photographic and interview project in Lithuania and Latvia with the support of a U.S. Fulbright Research Grant and a Robert Rauschenberg Artist As Activist Grant. Titled No One Asked Us, this photographic project examines the lives of Lithuanian Veterans during the Soviet War in Afghanistan from 1979-1989 and through their reassimilation into Lithuanian society. This work is the culmination of 8 years of ongoing investigation into the psychological toll of war and trauma and a rarely seen perspective of life 20 years after combat experience. For three months, Reich interacted with 22 veterans in their homes and throughout their daily routines to create images that provide an intimate and unvarnished portrayal of their reality.
The second series, Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, presents young enlisted American men wearing authentic U.S. military fatigues from World War II, as they enacted the events they anticipated experiencing in Iraq and Afghanistan before they deployed in 2008-2012. These photographs are melancholy icons that stumble over “fact-based” context provided by their video counterpart. The video, Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurts: Footnotes, points directly to the incongruities that exist among interpretation, intention, presumption, and fact. Footnotes is a combination of videos recorded on helmet cameras by soldiers affiliated with this project during the time of their deployments.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website