Lisa Lindvay: The States Project: Illinois
Lisa Lindvay’s project Hold Together slowly unfolds over several years as Lindvay travels from Chicago to Erie, Pennsylvania photograph her family. The complexities of mental illness and familial relationships evolve as we witness the intimate exchanges present during these photography sessions. The generosity of her subjects, her family, speaks of the bond they feel for one another as the images they make together ring raw and true.
Lisa Lindvay was born in 1983 in Erie, Pennsylvania. She earned her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2009) and BFA in Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (2005). In her ongoing photographic series Hold Together, Lindvay portrays the inner workings of her father, sister, and two brothers as they navigate their way through instability, financial adversity, and the growing pains of adolescence while coping with their mother’s mental health issues. Lindvay’s photographs have been exhibited at Johalla Projects, Chicago (IL); Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington (DC); Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (IL); John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan (WI); Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover (MA); Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro (NC); Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh (PA); and Turner Contemporary, Margate (ENG); among others. Her photographs are included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s permanent collection as well as various private collections. She is the recipient of the 3Arts Artist Award (2011) and Chicago Artadia Award (2012). Lindvay currently resides in Chicago, IL where she teaches photography at Columbia College Chicago and Marwen.
I began making photographs of my father, two brothers and sister eight years ago when I moved away from my family for the first time to attend graduate school. My mother has always struggled with her mental health, and in 2006 she sunk into a deep depression causing our family to unravel. For almost three years my mother was a ghost of herself, often locked in her bedroom not to be bothered. Unable to care for herself and my young siblings, my father took guardianship of my brothers, who are not his biological children. This entropic time changed everything from our financial stability to our physical and mental health and understanding of ourselves. I felt an urgency to be at home. Making photographs was a reason for me to return; they were my way of understanding the complexities of our situation.
The photographs are glimpses into the lives of my family members and our homes. They depict our history and provide insight into our future. The images are of private moments shared between my father, sister, brothers, and myself in the absence of our mother. The photographs reveal the strength of my family’s bond as we come to terms with our everchanging family dynamic. The images picture the experiences of my siblings as they transition into adulthood and my father’s struggles to hold everything together.
In a wider context, the photographs are a portrayal of the inner workings of the American family navigating its way through instability, financial adversity, and the growing pains of adolescence. While my story is specific, the themes resonate across diverse cultural and economic lines.
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Myra Greene: The States Project: IllinoisSeptember 25th, 2016
Jessica Labatte: The States Project: IllinoisSeptember 24th, 2016
John Opera: The States Project: IllinoisSeptember 23rd, 2016
Paul D’Amato: The States Project: IllinoisSeptember 22nd, 2016
Krista Wortendyke: The States Project: IllinoisSeptember 21st, 2016