Fairfield exhibit features ex-Marine's photos on return to Vietnam
An exhibit of nearly 50 photographs of Vietnam -- shot by a former Marine who served in combat there and returned years later as a professional photographer -- has opened at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.
"Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited" is on view at the gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts through June 6.
The exhibit includes 46 photos by Craig J. Barber, who served a 20-month combat tour in Vietnam as a teenager, later developed into a professional landscape photographer and returned to the country three times to retrace his combat routes.
His return to the land where he once fought resulted in a "dreamlike and introspective study of place," the university said in a news release.
"These profound and dreamlike photographs are far from the horrific images we carry inside us that reduce Vietnam to a place of perpetual guerrilla war," Alison Nordström, curator at the George Eastman House, a photography museum in Rochester, N.Y., said in the release. "These pictures look like dreams imperfectly remembered. Still and slow as they are, they suggest an imminent scream of fear or anger beneath an apparent tranquility."
When stationed in Vietnam, Barber was not a serious photographer, but carried an instamatic camera with his combat gear throughout his tour of duty, the university said. His career as a photographer blossomed in the 1970s and took off in the 1980s. Today he is best known for landscape photographs.
Barber's work has been featured in more than 60 solo exhibitions and is represented in numerous collections, according to the release, including George Eastman House, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.
Barber grew up in a small town in western New York state and now lives in the Hudson Valley. He teaches photography workshops throughout the United States and Europe.
The Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and one hour before and during intermission of Quick Center for the Arts performances. Admission is free.