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.
Paul Baker Prindle