April 5th, 2012
Boundaries are invisible until they are broken. In the series Territory, Sarah Milbrath examines domestic animals’ ownership of spaces and the limits of their boundaries while juxtaposing this tension with the personal boundaries humans establish. Although animals are not always attributed consciousness of the “self”, they are, however, capable of expression. In many ways, animals embody a more true form of human emotion. Their attenuated sense of shame or embarrassment makes their reactions seem more genuine than ours. 
In making this series Sarah took photographs leading up to and past the limits of an animal’s territory. These photographs capture the moment of realization, just before a reaction is provoked. When the boundary is crossed, the animal’s tension reaches its peak. The response to each intrusion is unique, with varying reactions. Some seek affection or comfort, while others respond with a reproachful gaze or gesture that seems threatening. The variety of expressions, poses, and distances highlights how personal these spaces become.As humans we have taught ourselves to disregard moments in which our personal space is entered, to tolerate it and not directly react. The limbic and possessive reaction of animals has drawn Sarah to this idea of breaking boundaries, of forcing oneself on to the Other. These animals’ reactions may suggest what we want but cannot do.

April 5th, 2012

Boundaries are invisible until they are broken. In the series Territory, Sarah Milbrath examines domestic animals’ ownership of spaces and the limits of their boundaries while juxtaposing this tension with the personal boundaries humans establish. Although animals are not always attributed consciousness of the “self”, they are, however, capable of expression. In many ways, animals embody a more true form of human emotion. Their attenuated sense of shame or embarrassment makes their reactions seem more genuine than ours. 


In making this series Sarah took photographs leading up to and past the limits of an animal’s territory. These photographs capture the moment of realization, just before a reaction is provoked. When the boundary is crossed, the animal’s tension reaches its peak. The response to each intrusion is unique, with varying reactions. Some seek affection or comfort, while others respond with a reproachful gaze or gesture that seems threatening. The variety of expressions, poses, and distances highlights how personal these spaces become.

As humans we have taught ourselves to disregard moments in which our personal space is entered, to tolerate it and not directly react. The limbic and possessive reaction of animals has drawn Sarah to this idea of breaking boundaries, of forcing oneself on to the Other. These animals’ reactions may suggest what we want but cannot do.