This is a common reaction when people first see our work. Nothing in our life is left untouched in our art—often quite literally as sofas, bedroom walls, and dinnerware come under physical attack. We are the photographers and the photographed, our home is the canvas, our actions are the content, and our family is the subject. We are interested in how our relationships are constantly changing as we grow older.
As the collaborative artistic team of Hillerbrand+Magsamen, we 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. By using our home as a stage set and our family as the actors we attempt to fuse familial roles with tropes from Greek legends and Shakespearean dramas. Our work simultaneously “buys in to” and reveals the theatrics and spectacle of the world we live in. In addition to drawing parallels between storytelling and mythology, our work inherently comments on politics and privilege. By deconstructing our iteration of the nuclear family discussions of consumerism and stereotypes lead to larger themes of race, class and gender roles in contemporary American life.