"Sara Condo/Lindsay Hutchens" at Permanent Collection

One photographer considers the mother she had while another ponders the mother she thought she'd be

Sara Condo / Lindsay Hutchens at Permanent Collection

In the second show from the house-gallery Permanent Collection, artists Sara Condo and Lindsay Hutchens provide two outlooks on female identity and personal loss. Permanent Collection's mission is to bring together an artist from the Midwest (PC's founders relocated to Austin from Chicago) and one from Texas for each exhibition. Condo lives in Chicago, where she's getting her MFA in photography, while Hutchens is a current Austinite who will be leaving this fall to pursue dual master's degrees at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The parallel-lives experience of Condo and Hutchens takes center stage in the exhibition. Condo's photographs capture various keepsakes that were owned by her mother, and a video tracks her mother's journey out west on a train. Condo's mother worked for Amtrak for years, and the video, The Empire Builder, serves as a re-creation of her mother's travels with the company while giving Condo herself a more intensive medium to experiment with. The result is a somber work that helps provide scope for the intensity of the artist's loss.

While Condo's work takes a starker approach to still life, with personal mementos cast against pitch-black backgrounds, Hutchens' oscillates toward capturing her personal affections in situ. With an erect She-Ra figurine titled For Sale: Princess of Power, Hutchens begins to dismantle the collection of toys that she had been saving for the children she thought she would have someday. But as Hutchens has become more removed from the reality of creating her own family, so too have the potential playthings become detached from their nostalgia.

In addition to the images of Hutchens' former mementos, the artist has all of the items listed for sale on Craigslist with brief descriptions of their significance. Permanent Collection has provided an iPad in-gallery so that visitors may also read through the Craigslist ads while viewing the original photographs. This performative act will be finalized at the show's closing, where all still-available items will be sold off at an on-site garage sale – one which just happens to fall directly on Mother's Day.

Condo and Hutchens approach maternity from opposite perspectives, but together they create a comprehensive view of loss, femininity, and identity. Their combined work leaves audiences with a lasting impression of bittersweet recollection and hesitant hope for the future.

"Sara Condo/Lindsay Hutchens"

Permanent Collection, 3501 Gonzales
Through May 10
More Arts Reviews
Street Corner Arts' <i>Pocatello</i>
Street Corner Arts' Pocatello
Rich performances highlight the pain, hope, and heart in this staging of Samuel D. Hunter's family drama

Shanon Weaver, Dec. 8, 2017

The Hideout Theatre's <i>Dance Dreams</i>
The Hideout Theatre's Dance Dreams
The improv artists in this production do an impressive job of detailing the falling and rising fortunes of a ballet company

T. Lynn Mikeska, Dec. 8, 2017

More by Caitlin Greenwood
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
As he leaves Austin, the award-winning curator and artist reflects on the city's artists and art community

March 10, 2017

“I saw the world” at Pump Project
“I saw the world” at Pump Project
Imperialism and identity compete in Betelhem Makonnen’s solo show about a 19th century Ethiopian prince

Dec. 23, 2016


Permanent Collection, Sara Condo, Lindsay Hutchens, photography

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)