bill owens

Bill Owens' Our Kind Of People (1975) is a form of pre-cursor for Jeremy Deller's Folk Archive, anthologising the rituals and activities of societies ranging from The Masons to The Northern California Square-Dancing Association. The photographs are often captioned in a journalistic style, using statements from the subjects. 
Some of the more obscure societies documented make Owens' position feel rather exterior and border on the mocking. Yet none of the text or images openly betrays a position, and it is more likely we who align or disassociate ourselves with 'the people'. Owens' preface to Suburbia summarises this complicated relationship:

To me nothing seemed familiar, yet everything was very, very familiar.