Anna Reich ::

In the four-year experimental documentary photography series Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, young enlisted men wearing authentic U.S. military fatigues from World War II enacted the events they anticipated experiencing in Iraq and Afghanistan before they deployed. This group provided direction and descriptions – while deployed – of their realities for me to stage/recreate with actors. The resulting photographs directly reference vernacular and historically repeated imagery of American soldiers. These photographs are melancholy icons that stumble over “fact-based” context provided by their video counterpart. The video, Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurts: Footnotes, points directly to the incongruities that exist among interpretation, intention, presumption, and fact. Footnotes is a combination of videos recorded on helmet cameras by soldiers affiliated with this project during the time of their deployments. The experience of making this work motivated me to volunteer at VA hospitals in Boston and Chicago, specifically at the Psycho-social Recreation and Rehabilitation Centers, where I spent 18 months (20+ hrs/week) teaching coping strategies and reassimilation skills to veterans with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, and combat related psychologicaldisorders.

Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt Index

copyright Anna Reich 2017