The collaborative practice of Mary and Stephan


The House/hold photograph series are portraits of our family that playfully capture slices of our daily life with surreal viewpoints and dark humor inspired by actual events from bath time to laundry. Born out of our ordinary life and evolved into the extraordinary, the photographs were taken in our home with controlled lighting and composition. We are interested in the identity of family and how that is communicated as middle-class Americans living in a suburban home with two children, a dog and too much stuff. Those things that we have worked so hard to obtain become both the burdens and joys in our lives.

Titled after literary and mythological characters, we are referencing historical family stories of the heroism and tragedy such as Ophelia, Hercules, Pandora and Sisyphus. Throughout the House/hold photographs the charged personal narratives of our family speak to the structures of identity politics and consumerism.


"The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children."

— G.K. Chesterton