Amanda Hankerson and Lacey Criswell: Forever and Always
We all have our preconceived fantasies of love and marriage–romances highlighted in the NY Times Style section and weddings right out of the pages of glossy magazines. Photographers Amanda Hankerson and Lacey Criswell certainly did not have romance on their list of considerations when they first visited the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally six years ago. They expected to experience the rough and tumble world of bikers (which they did), but they also began to witness another side of the rally: romance and commitment. Their project, Forever and Always, captured over the last six years, documents the connections and commitments of Sturgis devotees. More of the work captured at Sturgis can be found on their site, I Luv Sturgis.
August 2015 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Amanda and Lacey will be in Sturgis from August 1-9th and will be posting about their adventures as huntcapture on Instagram and fleeting behind-the-scenes moments on Snapchat.
As soon as they met at Minneapolis College of Art + Design, Amanda Hankerson and Lacey Criswell began working on projects together. After collaborating for years, they can now complete each others’ visual sentences. Criswell has recently received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to work on her project The Hunters’ Wives which features women who are left behind during hunting seasons in the Midwest. Hankerson received a Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship for The Hankersons, a portrait project that connects the small number of people who share her last name to the shared history of slaveholders and slaves. As an artistic partnership, Hankerson and Criswell are interested in how American identity can be constructed by an individual or group of people and how identity can be altered through imagery. Even though they are based in different cities–Amanda in Los Angeles, and Lacey in Minneapolis–they are often together on a road-trip with cameras in hand. Together they run Hunt + Capture,which received a Communication Arts Award for Advertising Photography.
Forever and Always
Forever and Always (2009-2015) is a six-year-long collaboration by Lacey Criswell and Amanda Hankerson that explores the idea of family, love and identity through images of the legendary annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Each year, hundreds of thousands converge on the small town of Sturgis, South Dakota: thrill seekers, weekend riders, hardcore evangelists, lifelong lawless bikers. In the desire for companionship, hundreds of biker couples at the rally choose to get married or renew their vows among their fellow bikers, their motorcycle clubs, their de facto families. Forever and Always pushes against the hyper-masculine and hyper-sexualized aspects of the rally and reveals an intimacy that resides within
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