The photographs in this collection represent the changing topographic contours of a particular landscape as it becomes subject to development. The paradoxical dynamic of land development is the central theme that interests Pritt. To develop doesn’t simply mean to cause growth or expansion, but also to demolish and take apart what was already there. The act of building, in other words, essentially implicates destroying.
Pritt’s ‘no-frills’ approach presents a unique way of inviting the viewer’s contemplation. Although it is essentially a response to the social practice of human’s intervention into natural environment, the observatory tone remains detached and objective rather than overly sentimental. The neutrality of the photographer’s eye represents these places in their own terms, uncluttered by emotional excess. Pritt’s account is above all else documentative, offering a detailed accuracy and stark reportage stylization.
The impersonal air evoked in these photographs is also created by the lack of human figures. Yet their presence may still be sensed through the representations of their needs and ambitions. It is a person’s specific way of life that requires the motorcycle in Build/Destroy #6, for instance, just as the construction occurring here is a product of the human will towards progress. Even though the human is absent from the photographs, he remains thoroughly felt.
Impersonal yet intimate, the photographs in this collection beckon us to reflect upon a pressing contradiction that is inherent in the human drive to develop: how do we negotiate the thin line between building and destroying?
Mitha Budhyarto, December 28th, 2011