Jennifer Karady: In Country: Soldiers’ Stories consists of twelve large-scale 48 x 48 inch color photographs accompanied by a short synopsis of the veteran’s story written in his or her own words. Each work is initiated by an extensive interview process with the soldier, followed by a collaboration in which the veteran reenacts a chosen moment from war within the safe space of his or her everyday environment, often surrounded by family and friends.
Unlike some photographers who use actors to stage narratives, Karady works with real veterans to dramatize their stories through metaphorical and narrative techniques. Through this process the artist makes visible the psychological impact of war—the nightmares and memories that soldiers continue to experience after returning home.
An excerpt from her artist statement:
For the past four years, Karady has worked with American veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to create staged narrative photographs that depict their individual stories and address their difficulties in adjusting to civilian life. After an extensive interview process with the veteran and his/her family, Karady collaborates with the veteran to restage a chosen moment from war within the safe space of their everyday environment, often surrounded by family and friends.
The collision between or collapse of the soldier’s world and the civilian world evokes the psychology of life after war, and the challenges that adjustment to the home front entails. The process of making the photograph is intended to be helpful for the veteran subject, and is conceptually related to cognitive behavioral therapy.
Jennifer Karady: In Country:
Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan
March 31 – May 1, 2011
Reception: Thursday, March 31, 5 – 8 PM
Above: Captain Elizabeth A. Condon, New York Army National Guard, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with daughter, Kate, and mother, Elizabeth, Troy, NY, June 2008
48”x 48” Chromogenic Color Print © Jennifer Karady. Former Staff Sgt. Andrew Davis, 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with wife Jodie, and Iraq war veterans and friends Tom and Andy, Saratoga Springs, NY, October 2009
48”x 48” Chromogenic Color Print © Jennifer Karady.