Visiting Artist Lecture: Stephan Hillerbrand
Nov 20 2013 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Visiting artist lecture sponsored by the School of Art.
Hillerbrand+Magsamen are a collaborative husband and wife visual artist team made up of Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen. Based in Houston, Texas, their work draws upon the rich Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video art and everyday objects, expanding their personal family life into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life and American consumer excess, which they call “suburban fluxus.”
With an interest in photography and video, our highly intimate work explores our own relationships, family and everyday activities, reflecting the contradictions of suburban family life–its pleasures and discontentments, our love-hate relationships with the things we possess and the people we live with. Our work has always been grounded in performance and self-portraiture, exclusively using our home as a stage set and our family as the actors. Fusing contemporary social situations with tropes from Greek legends and Shakespearean dramas, we attempt investigation into the notion of family by mythologizing our own.
“I hope you're not planning to sell your house anytime soon.” This is what people often say when they first see our work at art openings, exhibition talks or film festivals. While they could be commenting on our nominal status as not-so-starving artists, it is more likely that they’re referring to the nature of our work itself. Home, family, belongings—nothing in our life is left un-deconstructed 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.
Above: "DIY Loveseat."Hamilton Hall
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