January 3, 2013 - February 3, 2013
As a collaborative artistic team, Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen draw upon the rich Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video, and everyday objects in their work. Their personal life is material for a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life, and American consumer excess.
With an interest in photography and video, their highly intimate work explores relationships, family, and everyday activities, reflecting the contradictions of suburban family life—its pleasures and discontentments, love-hate relationships with their possessions and the people they live with. Their work is grounded in performance and self-portraiture, using their home as a stage and their family as actors. Fusing contemporary social situations with tropes from Greek legends and Shakespearean dramas, they have attempted to interrogate the notion of family by mythologizing their own.
“Home, family, belongings—nothing in our life is left undeconstructed in our art—often quite literally, as sofas, bedroom walls, and dinnerware come under physical attack. We draw no line between our lives and our art. We are the photographers and the photographed; our home is our canvas, our family is our subject, and our actions are our content.”
Hillerbrand+Magsamen have presented their videos in prestigious international film and media festivals including SCOPE Basel, WAND V Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, New York Underground Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Boston Underground Film Festival, LA Freewaves New Media Art Festival. Their cinematic based installations have been seen in the Hong Gah Museum in Taiwan, Hudson River Museum, Woodstock Center for Photography, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film, and Houston Center for Photography. They have been awarded grants from Austin Film Society’s Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund, Ohio Arts Council, Houston Arts Alliance, and a Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography. They live and work in Houston, Texas with their two children Madeleine and Emmett.