|| katrin koenning ||

One morning in 2005 I woke and, with a sudden immediacy, feared the fragility of things. What if tomorrow someone close died? In an ideal world, my family will always be there. But they won’t, at least not in a physical sense. I needed to hold on and photograph those transient moments of intimacy shared only between us, yet common to most. I needed to investigate what is ultimately the centre stage of my life, and to explore the complexities and challenges of family love. Was there such a thing as family identity? What constitutes belonging? That morning, Near was born – it is an ongoing portrait of my family.

Our story is common to the 21st Century – we're spread across four countries and three continents, torn apart and thrown together by migration. We are architects, engineers, social workers, therapists, dancers, animators, carpenters, students and dreamers. We are divorced, we are married, we are old and young and everything in between. Above all, we're lucky – we are close. Together, we've come through cancer and suicide. 
Celebrating the significance of that which is close, Near is inspired by a deep curiosity in what we often brush aside as banal or ordinary.

The work pays tribute to the idea that in the end, we belong to people, rather than places or things. We belong to the stories we compose, and hold close.

katrin koenning

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