Opening Reception: Soldiers' Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan Photographs and Stories by Jennifer Karady
This exhibition at the Slusser Gallery features Jennifer Karady's past work on the Soldiers' Stories project.
Artist Jennifer Karady meticulously stages photographs that represent the particularity of memories and recollections of individual veterans, juxtaposed with the environs of their everyday civilian lives. Working with veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Karady’s engagement extends beyond the traditional artist/subject dynamic. The relationships become collaborative, each work based upon extensive interviews and planning sessions. Each veteran re-enacts his or her chosen memory, in uniform, often surrounded by family and friends. Accompanying text for each photograph based upon interviews offers another way of engaging with these very personal recollections.
For our exhibition at the Institute for the Humanities, the soldiers’ stories photographs are accompanied by sound stories edited by Karady from the interviews, whereby images in combination with these original voices create an intimacy with the material. In addition, a commonplace shed erected in the gallery references a house and serves as a listening room for more recordings. Once inside, the house noticeably transforms into a soldier’s bunk, suggestive of the deeply personal and interior terrain where these memories and stories ultimately dwell.
The installation in the institute's gallery debuts new works based on the personal accounts of U-M student veterans and marks the completion of Karady’s combined residency as the 2013 Roman J. Witt artist in residence with the Stamps School of Art and Design as well as a visiting artist at the Institute for the Humanities. Karady’s project at Michigan involved student participation at every stage of the process. Additional images from the Soldiers’ Stories series are also on view at the Stamps School Slusser Gallery on North Campus.
Through exhibitions, critical inquiry, and outreach , the Institute for the Humanities brings the perspectives of veterans into our year-long consideration of life writing, as an acknowledgement of the value of their human experiences and points of view as members of our U-M community.
Jennifer Karady is an internationally known, award-winning artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her critically acclaimed project, Soldiers' Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan, has been exhibited widely, including at SF Camerawork, CEPA, the University of Denver, the Berman Museum and will travel to the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2014. Her work was featured in The New York Times, in Kunstbeeld, on National Public Radio, and reviewed in Frieze. Public collections include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Palm Springs Art Museum and The Albright Knox Gallery. Karady’s numerous residencies and awards include The Corporation of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, The Headlands, Puffin Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council and The Blue Mountain Center. In 2013-2014, she was awarded the Witt Residency at the University of Michigan, and grants from Getty Images and the Compton Foundation.