Like Jack Kerouac in On the Road or Travis Henderson in Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas, Bastienne Schmidt’s character roams America’s suburban terrain. She demurely shields her face from the camera’s gaze, tempting us to daydream about her inner thoughts while we participate as curious onlookers in her journeys. We travel through Schmidt’s deadpan cinematic vignettes with an anonymous feminine creature who is forever discovering her local environs. In her series, Home Stills, Schmidt explores the ethos of America in relationship to nature, as well as American culture’s traditional and contemporary gender roles. In some photographs, Schmidt actualizes the yearnings for freedom of the foreigner who once wandered America before the onset of family duty. Introducing family into later scenes, Schmidt portrays life further along in the cycle of womanhood – seeking to find her purpose as a housewife through controlled experiments performed and photographed within her home.
About the artist
Bastienne Schmidt was born in Munich, Germany and studied art, painting and photography in Germany and Italy after studying anthropology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich. She lived and worked for many years in Greece and Italy before moving to New York, where she is now based. Schmidt’s art and photography have been widely published and exhibited throughout the US and internationally including at the National Museum for Photography, TV and Broadcasting in Bradford; the Brooklyn Museum, the New Museum and the International Center of Photography in New York; FotoFest, Houston; Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi, Belgium; Museum of Photography, Rotterdam and the Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow.
Special thanks to our friends who have helped support this exhibition: The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation, Joan Morgenstern, Edward Osowski and Southeast Museum of Photography.