Henry Northington. Richmond, Virginia. “Northington’s severed head had been placed squarely in the center of the walkway, leading many to speculate that the murderer(s) had intended to make an anti-gay statement.” (from the series Mementi Mori), 2010. Archival pigment print. 50 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Milwaukee, WI

Overview

Paul Baker Prindle’s haunting photographs are from Mementi Mori, a series in which he documents locations across the country where hate crimes against gay and lesbian individuals occurred. While the horrifying details of each murder are spelled out in the photograph’s title, the image itself lacks any reference to the event: the victim’s body is conspicuously absent, memorials to the lost individual are undetectable, and the locale appears void of all human activity. Although Baker Prindle’s series, as a whole, could serve as an index to the country’s homophobic landscape, the artist purposefully captures quotidian scenes that fail to adequately document the chilling narratives behind sites of trauma. In confronting the irretrievable, he exposes the limitations of the photographic medium. With the gap between the represented image and the actual event laid bare, the viewer is forced beyond passive spectatorship and challenged to reimagine the scene and its attendant violence.

Biography

Paul Baker Prindle was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. He uses a variety of medium and large-format cameras and employs both chemical and digital printing techniques. Baker Prindle has spent the last three years traveling across the country for his current series, Mementi Mori, to document the sites of homophobic murders. He has had a number of solo exhibitions for Mementi Mori and has participated in group exhibitions at the national level. He relocated to Reno, Nevada in August, 2013, to teach at the University of Nevada, where he is the Director of Sheppard Contemporary and University Galleries. He is also a Visiting Professor of Art at Minzu University in Beijing, China.