Day 6 | Mary Magsamen & Stephan Hillerbrand


Let’s Get Married is a collaborative project between artist team of Magsamen + Hillerbrand and playwright, Kirk Lynn based on the surrealist writings of Comte de Lautréamont. In this video three different people playfully construct and devour faces made out of bread, peanut butter and jelly. The images become chaotic and the viewer looses track of what is created and what is regurgitated as audio of bees buzzing and a woman reciting lines that end with “peanut butter and jelly” gets louder and louder.

“All my life I have seen narrow shouldered men, without exception, perform innumerable stupid actions, brutalize his fellows and poison minds by every conceivable means. Seeing these things I have desired to laugh and smile with the others, but this strange imitation was impossible for me. I have taken a knife and severed the flesh at the spots where the lips come together, cutting them into a smile. For a moment I thought to have accomplished my end. I looked into the mirror and inspected the mouth I had deliberately butchered. It was a mistake! The blood falling copiously from the two wounds made it impossible to distinguish whether this was really the smile of other men. But after several minutes of comparison I could see clearly that my smile in no way resembled human laughter: in other words, I was not laughing.” Lautremont

Let’s Get Married, 2008 – TRT 3:30 mins


The collaborative team of Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand have been working on photography and video projects together for the past several years. Relationships, perception, and everyday transcendence permeates their work—a collective portrait of their commitment to process. They continuously renew their experimentation with video, light, sound, and performance. Their visual vocabulary celebrates available everyday materials such as cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and family. Their work manipulates time, image, and material, mesmerizing the viewer and transmuting the common into a visceral abstraction.

Their work has been shown internationally in exhibitions and screenings which have included; Chicago Underground Film Festival, LA Freewaves Film and Video Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Stuttgarter Filmwinter, VAD International Video and Digital Arts Festival, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival and Aurora Picture Show. Their work has also been exhibited internationally including: The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Houston Center for Photography, Dallas Contemporary, Butler Institute of American Art, The Boston Center for the Arts, Lawndale Arts Center and Contemporary Art Center of Virginia.

Mary is the Curator at the Aurora Picture Show, a micro-cinema in Houston and Stephan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston.

Magsamen + Hillerbrand – Houston Texas

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