Binh Danh’s recent exhibition, The Grass Over Graves (Washington & Lee University, Lexinton, VA, January 4 – Febuary 4, 2011), included work growing out of his collaboration with Robert Schultz.
A Daguerreotype portrait of Schultz next to a Daguerreotype rendering of his poem, “Amulet,” was in the exhibition. The poem describes a wounded U.S. Civil War soldier looking at his beloved in a small Daguerreotype photograph that he keeps in a locket hung around his neck. When he looks at the picture’s metallic surface he sees his own face mingled with hers. A visitor to the gallery who read the poem there saw his or her face reflected among the words.
The exhibit also included Daguerreotype photographs of Civil War cemeteries and landscapes, passages selected from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and photograms of tree leaves and grasses. Accompanying these works were large leafprint portraits of U.S. casualties of the Vietnam War, another north-south civil war.