Sharpe, P. Elaine

P. Elaine Sharp, Toronto, Canada

unanswered: witness

”The photographs in this work are large-scale documents of death and of absence, markers of sites where random horrific events were either instigated or have taken place. In travelling to these places I have discovered that most topographies are unremarkable to unsuspecting passersby; there is not always signage pointing the way. In some cases, such as Hitler's Bunker in Berlin, the information of the location is purposefully withheld from the general public.

The photographic images in this work have an intangible focal point. There is nothing in the foreground and yet this is where the camera has intentionally been focussed. It provokes a psychological need to bring the image into focus which the photograph then denies. This forced engagement between thought and vision prompts the idea that things are not what they seemed at first glance. The accumulated images and titles of the works eventually create a threshold for the attentive viewer to understand that these banal sites represent more than was first assumed. As with any investigation, the critical questions to consider are who, what, when, where, how, and perhaps the one question which is most difficult to answer – why.” P. Elaine Sharpe, Toronto, Canada, Mai 2004