Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bard college in 2010 with a BA in Photography. When speaking of her work, Phyars-Burgess states:
As a photographer, I have come to realize that my interest lies not just in the taking of photographs but the ways in which the act of photographing allows one to be within a space without the pretense of knowing or necessity. This acts allows me to better dissect the world, to ask deeper questions and bring them to a world beyond just myself.
Photography isn’t a tool through which one understands, but rather the surface through which we all see. It is the veneer of facts, a basis of science- structurally- it is evidence of nothing, but holds the empiricism of manifestation. Photography is the exterior, it is never the real. What it does is, it allows me to look a little bit longer, ask a few more questions- of myself and of what I am looking at. It forces me to question what I believe; what I think I know. Photography is not truth, and it is not a lie, it is all the things in between that- it is the gap between knowing and seeing. It is the trouble with assumptions and the seduction of sight. Plainly, I am interested in photographing black people. Blackness- whatever that may be. It’s curse, it’s weight, it’s absolute splendor, it’s terrifying beauty. I’m interested in all the places this blackness exists and how it chooses (or is forced) to do so. I am interested in representation. Not the simplistic notion of being included (an optical illusion at best) but how representation can affect one’s life. I use photography because its function is simple. It allows one to look.
For more information on Sasha Phyars-Burgess’s work visit her website.