Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction

A photo of troops in transit by Ryan Spencer Reed takes two pages of Vol. 2 of his four-volume zine set that accompanies Reed’s ArtPrize 2014 entry, ‘Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction,” based on time he spent training with and embedded with the 506th Infantry in Afghanistan. The work also explores how war and images of war are presented, and asks, what is real.

Ryan Spencer Reed is a photojournalist who tackles big topics.

Starting Thursday, September 17, 2014 his latest project, “Despite Similarities to Reality, This is a Work of Fiction,” goes on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum as part of a preview for and the duration of ArtPrize 2014 Sept. 24-Oct. 12.

It’s a study of war, a rumination on what is real and truth, and an attempt to also raise viewer’s awareness of and proficiency in visual literacy.

Reed’s exhibit, on the second floor of the GRAM, takes up a 23 by 49 foot room and its exterior wall facing the entrance foyer, but its real dimensions aren’t measurable in that way. He’s one of 19 artists in the GRAM for ArtPrize.

The exhibit has four parts that mimic the four-part zine he created and is selling at ArtPrize. Images in the exhibit and the zine — an image driven magazine/book/publication — were photographed during his time covering the training stateside and deployment in Afghanistan of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, “the Band of Brothers.”

For a complete story of the thoughts and description of Reed's ArtPrize project, read the Weekend Edition of the Ludington Daily News.