I have always been interested in working on the familiar – spaces and inhabitants that are part of our daily lives. I usually dwell on the details of that apparent everyday normality where I feel a bit uneasy, a bit bothered. Domestic employment is a unique job situation where the employer and the employee live under the same roof and where affection inevitably circulates. I took the phrase “She is like part of the family…” almost as a leitmotif; I’m attracted by its flipside and at the same time it belies the true fragility of the link.
In Familia Y Domestica, we see the domestic employee in two of her universes: that of her family-on-the-job, and that of her own family, which is most often unknown to her bosses. The employee, the girl, the woman – as you see just naming her preludes a problem – must move about that supposed second home fulfilling roles that supersede her original function. She becomes a mother, daughter, sister, and grandmother, while making sure not to take it very personally. After all, it is just a job.
I am a middle-class boy who was partly raised by a succession of domestic employees (Mom and Dad were at work). There are many others like me, raised to different degrees by domestic employees. This work is my homage to them.
Born and raised in Argentina, Sebastian Friedman (Buenos Aieres, Argentina) has been making photographs since 1994. His work has been shown extensively in Argentina at venues including the Museum of Modern Art of Argentina, Ex Government House – Ushuahia, the Klemm Foundation, Alianza Francesa Gallery, J.B. Castagnino Museum, Cultural Centre Recoleta, as well as in the Festival of Light. He has also exhibited in Germany, Belgium, and Brazil. Family Album marks Friedman’s US premier! His work is in the collections of the Harry Ransom Center, the Argentina Museum of Modern Art, as well as private collections. Magazines who have published his work include Spain’s EXIT n˚ 20 and Argentine publications Las /12 n˚278, VIVA n˚1371, Latido n˚ 9 , and La Nación. He was a National Fund for the Arts Fellow, a 2004 Fotofest Fellow, and winner of the Antorchas Foundation Fellowship for Artistic Creativeness.