Amy Stein- Domesticated
Every so often , during the six or eleven o’clock local and national news, we hear and see a fox being spotted in Central Park, NYC., or Bears going through the trash in the near Westchester County , even opening doors into houses looking for food, Alligators swimming , sunning in a pool in a Miami , Fla home, and even boa constrictor coming out of a toilet in Brooklyn, NYC . All these out of the blue scenarios happening randomly here and nationwide come to mind, while looking at Amy Stein's Domesticated series.
The real question is who is invading who? Who is the one doing the trespassing? Who is the real perpetrator? Who is the menacing creature? Who is crossing the environmental boundaries established by humans or by the animals? The animals ? or it can maybe the humans?
Is the suburbanization and the constant invasion by humans into nature, to create, more housing and industrialization in areas populated and dominated by all these animal species, creating a social conflict between humans and animals? Are they now retaliating and invading us because we had been destroying their ecosystems?
All these questions come to mind as, I leave NYC in a train ride to Boston and see the city landscape disappear and go though a lot of wooded areas along the road where, most of these critters call home for the time being. It is not kind of hard to tell that,with all the construction and the constant chopping of vegetation and trees how they might have to migrate and the animals looking for food and new living environment will end up in someones backyard or just right in front of you, staring right into your eyes.
All these facts and questions , conflict created are present in the Domesticated series.
Amy Stein Domesticated series are based on real stories of human and animal encounters or interactions in and around the thew small town of Matamoras, Pennsylvania.The stories is based and created on Amy ‘s conversations told by its residents.
Amy has mastered recreating the photographic scenarios with a subtle and quite disturbing brilliance. The photos regardless the subject are created with great printing quality.In most cases the photographs from far away look like great and rather painterly landscapes, next door looking homes and urban looking settings and they are in so many was but, then there is the encounter or challenge between humans and animals.One of my favorites of the show is Roman Candle (shown above), where two adolescents get ready to attack a cornered raccoon. The taxidermy raccoon eyes almost come alive and stare right at you. The staging of it, it is just brilliant.
In addition of being a photographer, Amy is a professor and by saying this, she is teaching us a lesson with Domesticated... The animals deserve respect and in some cases, the space that we have been appropriating from them over the years. Go and see this show and you will learn your lesson.
As I almost finish writing this review, my cat Gia just jumped on my laptop almost erasing most of this review because, I was not paying her attention and feeding her on time...I think, I just had a Domesticated moment...