The collaborative practice of Mary and Stephan
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Higher Ground

Higher Ground

HIGHER GROUND is an interdisciplinary work consisting of video, sculpture and photography commissioned by the Houston Airport System, City of Houston Civic Art Program. In the spirit of George Méliès landmark illusionistic film, “A Trip to the Moon,” the artists Hillerband+Magsamen with their children embark on an adventure to construct and fly a rocket ship to the moon by taking apart their Houston, Texas suburban home. This quirky and seemingly impossible task created out of cut up couches, duct-tape, Amazon boxes and pots and pans turns out to be not only achievable, but also believable. As the artist and their children pull apart and rummage around their home to build a spaceship, this cinematic odyssey references both the creativity and futility of the “American” experience. From backyard wrestling to big box store escapism the work creates a Beckettian theme echoing phrase 'can't go on…must go on'.

High Definition Video with Sound, Duration: 10 min 30 sec. Loop, Aspect Ratio 16:9, 2 Ch Stereo, 2015


Selected Venues:*Official Selection and 1st prize in the Houston Cinema Arts Festival's CineSpaceprogram juried by Richard Linklater. 
*Official Selection of the London SciFi Film Festival
*Solo exhibition at Diffusion International Festival of Photography in Cardiff, Wales. Curated by David Drake
*Solo exhibition at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Curated by Elizabeth Dunbar
*Inclusion in Dream Home exhibition at Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, P.R. China. Curated by Alasdair Foster


Higher Ground: Photographs

A series of large photographs (Archival Inkjet Prints, Various Sizes) that have accompanied the HIGHER GROUND video in exhibitions including: 

*Solo exhibition at Diffusion International Festival of Photography in Cardiff, Wales. Curated by David Drake
*Solo exhibition at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Curated by Elizabeth Dunbar
*Solo exhibition at Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX. 

 


 

Higher Ground : Gift Shop

We are interested in photography’s relationship to consumerist culture and how this is expressed through the medium of the multiple, potentially produced by anyone with access to the Internet. We put these ideas and more on display in Gift Shop, a new installation that showcases the intrinsic reproductive nature of photography, populated with numerous mainstream consumer products we created using images from Higher Ground.

Presented at Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX, March/April 2016

Read the article in Arts & Culture Texas