While a recurring theme links this series of photographs, they seem to evade easy explanation. Viewers are left to decipher the burn marks for themselves. Their sense of disorientation is, to a certain extent, intrinsic to the piece’s concept. These pictures aim to unnerve and confound – a goal achieved through form and content.
In terms of content, the photographs depict distinctive evidence of deliberate destruction. These remnants – isolated and virtually abstracted – are arranged to heighten their absurdity and mysteriousness. The pillar motif evokes bleak connotations. Bearing a piece of charred wood on their tops, the pillars become eloquent, yet nonetheless enigmatic signs looming large in the sky, disconcerting to the beholder. In true Beckett-like fashion, these burn marks exist “nowhere”.
Formally, the photos offer extreme clarity: a clear-cut, classic figure-ground relationship with simple, compact shapes. Although pure photographs in and of themselves, the images rely on a decidedly pictorial concept. The colour grey dominates the frame, deriving support from its black counterpoint. The rare accent of colour comes from the natural pigment of the shattered piece of wood. These nearly “painted” photographs achieve the full impact of their look and feel from these colours, particularly because the pillars are placed in full sunlight, juxtaposed against heavy, grey skies. In this way, form and content validate each other, collectively leaving a lasting impression on the viewer.