Exhibition Dates: April 16 - June 7, 2015
Pao Her’s exhibition of new photographs, Attention, focuses on the importance of military service to Hmong-American identity. In the 1960s, the CIA enlisted Hmong and Laotian soldiers to fight a secret war alongside the conflict in Vietnam, soldiers the United States still does not recognize as U.S. veterans despite their sacrifices on behalf of the U.S.. The men that Her has photographed, in the tradition of classical paintings of generals, are veterans of that war—excluded from subsidized health services, refused the right to be buried in national cemeteries, and disqualified from wearing U.S.–sanctioned military uniforms and medals.
Here, they stand proudly. These Hmong Army veterans have awarded one another medals based on their oral testimony. Her sees these portraits as neither advocacy nor criticism. The installation magnifies a particular effort in our common hope to be recognized.
While words and images keep us connected to friends and family across the world, Shana Kaplow’s “Near and Far” is inspired by the connectivity shared through the objects we use most. Her paintings of tables and chairs feature common items that fill many homes, yet focus on the effects of mass production and the global reach of a domestic commodity.
She also uses video to find connections between cultures, labor and domestic architecture. Gravity, a video projected onto a dining room table, is a deceptively simple reversal of dripped liquid ink that elegantly transition from deepest black to blank white. By using both abstraction and photo realism, Kaplow stresses the tension of connecting with the unfamiliar.
Watch of video of Shana Kaplow on Third/AV.
Shana Kaplow is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the MN State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of MN through a grant form the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Opening receptions for “Attention” and “Near and Far” will be held Thursday, April 16, 7–9 p.m.
Artist talks are scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 7 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Art
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