Mobile Military Medical Clinic

1970
Archival pigment inkjet print
59 x 40 cm

In the photograph, ‘Mobile Military Medical Clinic’ 9/1970, a stretcher with an injured solder is being carried through swamp land towards a make-shift operation table where women knee-deep in muddy water, replete with face masks and medical clothing, carefully prepare their metal instruments beneath a netted canopy. When Doug Niven, curator of ‘Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side’ 2002, first saw this image, he had to double check that this scene was not staged, the setting appearing as if it had been choreographed. But this is the wonder of Vo An Khanh and his ability to capture a scene in its incongruity, the theatricality of light and his uncanny skill in holding the pose of the subject being one of the most consistent features in this particular body of work. (Zoe Butt)