Houston Cinema Arts Society presents a free virtual screening of six short films by the Houston-based art duo Hillerbrand+Masamen, including the debut of a new video, Shelter in Place, in conversation with the Covid19 pandemic and current political and social times, supported by the Houston Cinema Arts Society. Hillerbrand+Magsamen will join HCAS Artistic Director Jessica Green on Instagram Live for a virtual Q&A on Wednesday, July 16th at 7pm CST.
Hillerbrand+Magsamen are the photographers and the photographed, their home is the canvas, their actions are the content, and their family is the subject. They are interested in how their relationships are constantly changing as they grow older. They draw upon the Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video and everyday objects in order to have a conversation about family dynamics, suburban life and American consumer excess. Each work deals with familial joys and discontents, each taking place in or around the home.
The new work, Shelter in Place, reflects how the Covid19 pandemic changed their home, family, community and politics in new ways rife with fear but also new ways of seeing and being together. From face masks to quarantine to zoom calls, methods for connecting are forever changed. In this video they take large sheets of recycled plastic to physicalize our air, breath, objects and space as they move and interact through their home.
Additional work shown, includes DIY Love Seat, a playful experimental short video that reinterprets family and its identity, as well as Whole, an epic adventure of exploration through breaking and cutting holes into Hillerbrand+Masgsamen’s actual home to make a habitrail-like environment. Four Place Setting, ETA, and Whether finish out the six films screened.
“The art practice of Hillerbrand+Magsamen is just what the doctor ordered right about now,” HCAS Artistic Director Jessica Green says. “Both incredibly playful and moving, their fearless work is rooted in family and its joys and discontents, home, parenthood, childhood, growing older and old, love, security, and nurturance. Hillerbrand+Magsamen’s comment on 21st century surburbanish American life manages to be timely and timeless, and in the Covid-19 family ‘pod’ era utterly prescient.”
Hillerbrand+Magsamen’s practice utilizes collaboration, process and media experimentation through videos, photography, installations and interdisciplinary performances. They explore their relationships to each other and society with an uncanny sensibility that merges the real and unreal, blurring boundaries between life and art and often includes their two children, Maddie and Emmett.
Hillerbrand+Magsamen’s work has been presented at festivals including the Houston Cinema Arts Festival/CineSpace, London SciFi Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX), CounterCurrent Festival (Houston, TX) and Diffusion Photography Festival (Wales, UK). Exhibitions include the Grand Rapids Art Museum (Grand Rapids, MI), Everson Museum (Syracuse, NY), and Center for Photography Woodstock (Woodstock, NY). They have received grants from Sustainable Arts Foundation, Austin Film Society, Houston Arts Alliance and Experimental Television Center and participated in residency programs: Wassaic Projects (Wassaic, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), I-Park (East Haddam, CT), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY), Experimental Television Center (Owego, NY), Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC), Lawndale Art Center (Houston, TX) and Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM). They were awarded a residency at the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva for 2020.
Stephan Hillerbrand is an Associate Professor at the University of Houston. Mary Magsamen is the Curator at Aurora Picture Show.
For more information, visit: https://www.cinemahtx.org/event/hillerbrandmagsamen-virtual-home-tour/
To RSVP, visit: https://watch.eventive.org/hcas/play/5efb91419033bf003ee6d2b3