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Christopher Sims
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2017

For almost ten years, I have been making photographs within fictitious Iraqi and Afghan villages on the training grounds of U.S. Army bases. The villages serve as a strange and poignant way station for people heading off to war and for those who have fled it. U.S. soldiers interact with pretend villagers who are often recent immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have now found work in America playing a version of the lives they left behind. I am drawn in by the aesthetics the U.S. military has employed in their mission to create an Orientalist environment; the worlds that they have constructed are both Western and Islamic; convincingly accurate and comically misdirected; mundane and nightmarish.

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