Artist's Statement

Michele Arazi

35mm 11"x17"

LAND OF is my account of stays in US counties that switched to vote Donald Trump after having elected Barack Obama twice. In these counties, residents of contrasting views live close to each other, in one geographical continuum, and their numbers are near equal (usually a county flipped over a few hundred votes.)

There are three hundred and eleven such counties in the US. Visiting an expanding number of them, I encounter realities shaping America as a nation playing out on a local scale. No single county represents America as a whole. But I do come upon elements, cross sections, and trajectories that echo within; I listen for fragments that I, and the camera, can see.

When photographing, I do not ask people their political views. Their chances of being of one view or another are equal. I do not know, nor can I identify, the politics of the individuals in the photographs.

In LAND OF, I set out to see the travails of the everyday. I look to capture the place, and the individual. The person, not the position. In the field, I find much gray in what is commonly rendered as black and white. There are conversations to be had. The listening is not always easy.

LAND OF is a visual record of these grays. While I strictly adhere by photojournalistic practice, I lay no claim to objective reporting. The truth the work accounts to the viewer is that of my experience; what I see and hear as I rove about, kick the dirt, and breathe the air of the land.