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In 2003, when the United States began the war in Iraq, An-my Lê requested to be embedded as a photographer, and was denied. She was, however, permitted to document a Marine training base in southern California that is made to resemble the Iraqi landscape.
Lê’s documentary photographs do not judge or fabricate war or its interpretation. Instead, the artist witnesses real-life practices in which war is re-created or pre-imagined, and in so doing, she calls attention to the artifices of everyday life.