Hillerbrand + Magsamen “Mandala”
The “Mandala” series is an installation/performance series culminating in “42×42” photographic prints. A Mandala is a Buddhist spiritual act. It is defined as a circular design of the universe and also as a symbol expressing a person’s striving for unity of the self.
In an effort to heal and bring order to our home after the death of a family member, we have created a series of large of Mandalas in each room of our suburban house in Houston, Texas. Using seemingly useless, throw away consumer products such as Barbies, Legos, books and McDonalds Happy Meal toys to create these circular patterns that stayed in our house undisturbed for weeks, we hoped to bring importance to both what we had in our lives, recognize the excess that exists, and bring order to our overwhelming “big box store” culture we have found ourselves in.
As the collaborative artistic team of Hillerbrand+Magsamen, we draw upon the rich Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video and everyday objects and we expand our personal family life into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life and American consumer excess. This new kind of “suburban fluxus” generates work that documents and re-contextualizes our objects and possessions of self, family and culture, the role of the camera in contemporary art and challenges presumptions of the everyday. Home, family, belongings—nothing in our life is left unreconstructed 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.
The “Mandala” exhibition is available to see outdoors, at Žaliakalnis funicular base (Putvinskis str,) till 11 of October.