Jon Naiman Statement

Artist Statement
Familiar Territory

In the series Familiar Territory, farm animals and the people who keep them are photographed inside the family home. The unspoken boundary between the human and the animal is explored and brought into question. Taboos associated with cleanliness, propriety, order, safety come forward. The mundane mixes with the absurd. The objects, furniture, decorations, and architecture of these living rooms frame a moment in flux when two separate worlds come together. In previous times, across many cultures, farm animals were kept in the family home for warmth and safety. Though this is seldom now the case, it is not unheard of.

The images in Familiar Territory are informed by the traditions of documentary photography and play off of them. Not only am I interested in the subject "in" the images, but also in the moment where the gaze of the photographer, the subjects, and the viewer meet.

The photographs were made on location in various regions of Switzerland, from small alpine villages and rural farm areas, to suburban towns and larger cities.

Process Statement
These images were made with a 4x5 camera on color negative film. The prints are Lightjet C-prints.

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