LEGACY OF AN ECOCIDE:
Agent Orange Aftermath
Petronella J. Ytsma
Nguyen Ngoc Tho, born 1993
ARTIST STATEMENT / PROJECT DESCRIPTION
My work is concerned with social justice and ecological issues from an artistic perspective. Primarily through the lens of my Hasselblad, which allows the ‘unhurried visit’, I explore remnants and legacy, memory and mirror, and reflect on the civil contracts inherent between image maker, giver and viewer. Images from this body of work about intergenerational effects of Agent Orange on a specific population comprise a cautionary tale, a never-ending highly controversial one fraught with myriad complexities. As maker and viewer, they confirm my sense of being in the world and are for me the embodiment of a prayer.
The relevancy of this work lies in the fact that we remain a hegemonic power heavily invested in war and chemical industrial complexes. We fool ourselves into believing that other people’s children are not as precious, or human, as our own. These images serve both as a glimpse of the legacy we left, but more importantly, they are my testimony to the children, their families and to the mystery of what makes us human. For them and millions of others, that war is not over. They cannot close their eyes to it and simply move on. I believe it is vital that we meet their eyes and look into this mirror. May these images deny the wish to erase the past and ‘the other’ from memory.
This work has been exhibited at the C.G. Murphy Gallery at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota, September 2009. In addition, an exhibition and residency about this work has been held at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. I am actively seeking other venues for exhibitions, and it is my fervent hope to publish a book of this work, which necessitates further work in Southeast Asia, collaborating with the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA), the International Red Cross and other NGO’s.
In the following we show several photographs displayed at the above mentioned exhibitions
This collection of Gelatin Silver prints portrays effects of Agent Orange/Dioxin on the second and third generations in Vietnam. All shot 2007- 2008, the images from this body of work about intergenerational effects on a specific population comprise a cautionary tale, a never-ending highly controversial one fraught with myriad complexities.
All prints are 27x27cm on 50x40cm paper or 10-1/2”x 10-1/2” on 20x16” paper
Here you can see the exhibition catalogue of the at the C.G. Murphy Gallery , beautifully reproduced with conventional lithographic processes.
Interesting in purchasing this cataloue or original prints, please contact artist at Pjyfirestation21@comcast.net
News paper article: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/art/61228007.html
Photographs from St. Kate's exhibition: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stkates/sets/72157622150037024/
click for enlargement
Sinh, born 2001
Tu Du Hospital
Petronella J. Ytsma: links to her pages
Treuren: view installation of human hand photo's
Treuren: view specific hands
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