The other day I took refuge from the sweltering heat of the city in the Murray Guy gallery and had a good look at the work on display by An-My Lê. The press release states that she has the 'ability to describe natural forces and geography as backdrops against which human ambitions are weighed and scrutinized'
One thing that certainly struck me was how vast the scenery seemed to be and how small the human activity. Many of the scenes are bustling with such activity yet the sheer scope of the environment threatens to engulf them. No mean feat considering some of the human impact is very large indeed.
They seemed to be saying to me that no matter how grand and important these human endeavours appear to be, we are insignificant compared to the power of the environment we inhabit. As much of what Lê photographed are military exercises this notion became very poignant. Even when people are presented large in the frame, they still seem out of scale with their surroundings.
I spent a good amount of time looking at these photographs, and liked them very much. However, I found myself wanting to know more about what was going on in these remote regions, questions an investigate journalist rather than an artist might be better qualified to answer.