X2015.04.19 - X2015.05.10

Opening reception Sunday, April 19 from 3-6pm. On view Sundays 3-6pm, and by appointment. Closing reception and yard sale Sunday, May 10, 2015. 

“Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.”

—Willa Cather, My Ántonia, 1918



Opening Sunday, April 19th, Permanent.Collection is proud to present Sara.Condo / Lindsay.Hutchens, an exhibition of photographs, film, and participatory installation.

Confronted by mundane objects seeped in narrative—symbols of a life not yet lived, or a life that will never be lived again—Chicago-based photographer and filmmaker Sara Condo and Austin-based photographer Lindsay Hutchens use photographic documentation as a way to diminish the power these objects hold. In their recent photographs, both artists confront the uncanny abyss of realization that their lives have not materialized exactly as their younger selves imagined. These two photographers, in grappling with personal histories shaped by their predecessors, look to the utterly American lure of the west, to sunny California and the promise of the fertile coast.

Sara Condo has recently taken to riding the train west, tracing her mother’s history as a laborer for the railroad union in the 1970s. Condo’s recent still life photographs are documents of objects related to her own westward travels as well as those of her mother’s—tourist trinkets, cassette tapes, and a friend’s forgotten plants—monumentalizing these banal objects against a somber black background. Condo’s recent film, The Empire Builder, 2014, is the documentation of her meditative travel experience in which the American landscape becomes both a familiar companion and an unknowable, unreachable force, distanced by a pane of glass. In rhythmic, extended takes, occasionally switching point of view from one side of the train car to the other, Condo imbues a duality of patience and anxiety in this experience.

The subjects of Lindsay Hutchens’ photographic still lifes are the mementos of her childhood, a collection boxed away and opened decades later, a veritable dowry for the future. These photographs, a series titled Heirless, have become a larger participatory project: over the last year Hutchens has offered her childhood treasures to strangers on auction websites like Craigslist and eBay, inviting barter and conversation, a process which will culminate in a yard sale on the final day of this exhibition, Sunday, May 10.

In the photographic series Always You Will, 2014–2015, for this exhibition Hutchens also introduces an ongoing project documenting the chance arrangement of objects within and around the separate homes of her parents. These images, at times both tender and removed, point to an investigation of the issues inherent in an identity that strives to be in two places at once. The photograph WELCOME, Ft. Worth, Texas, 2014, is indicative of that struggle, and is also representative of much of Hutchens’ work, quietly humorous and disjointed in the deadpan style of concrete comedy: on a worn, leaf-strewn carpeted porch, a generic welcome mat faces not a door, but a dark red brick wall.

The train as filmic subject and setting can be traced back to the earliest known public film screening; the Lumière brothers’ 1895 black-and-white documentary short, The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station. The home as photographic subject and setting can be traced back to the earliest known surviving photograph, View from the Window at Le Gras, c.1826, a scene looking out the window of a house onto the surrounding land and buildings, taken by Joseph Niépce (on view and part of the collection of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin). Fittingly, Condo and Hutchens utilize these two seminal subjects, train and home, in the history of their respective mediums to investigate their own beginnings as artists and as daughters.


Born = Cicero, Illinois, 1987

Lives = Chicago, Illinois 

BFA = School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Photography, 2009

MFA = University of Illinois at Chicago - Photography, anticipated 2016 

Work = Media Projects Assistant, School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

See More = www.saracondo.com


Born = Ft. Worth, Texas, 1983

Lives = Austin, Texas (for now)

BA = Brooks Institute of Photography - Visual Journalism, honors, 2005

MA/ MFA = School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Visual Critical Studies/ Photography, candidate, anticipated 2018

See More = www.lindsayhutchens.com