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Hesitating beauty

Breaking down the structure of the photograph as truth and the book as narrative, Joshua Lutz’s second monograph, Hesitating Beauty, is an intimate portrait unlike other photographic models. Rethinking how photographs and text can function, Lutz blends family archives, interviews and letters with his own photographic practice seamlessly into a precious, fictitious experience of a life and family consumed by mental illness. Instead of showing us what it looks like, Hesitating Beauty is able to play with our own conceptions of reality to show us what it feels like.

Joshua Lutz: “Holding on so tightly to what I believed was sanity and being consumed by fear of depression and schizophrenia prevented me from being fully present to my mother’s reality. The past few years, as she slipped away from the aggressive paranoia and depression of my youth to an almost calming sense of delusion, made it much easier for me to rid the anger that veiled my life and to attempt to find a place of empathy and compassion as I managed her care. In making this work and simultaneously falling deeper into her psychosis, I tried to imagine a time when the past present and future collided; a place where the weight of memory is heavier than reality.”

Joshua Lutz is an artist and educator working with photographs. He has an MFA from Bard College/ICP and a BFA from Bard College. His first book – Meadowlands, 2008 – was followed by solo shows at Clamp Art (NY) and Koch Gallery (SF). In 2010 Lutz was commissioned by Foam Museum to respond to the idea of borders within the city of Amsterdam. The resulting work was part of a museum exhibition at Stadsarchief, Amsterdam.
He has been presented awards and fellowships including American Photography 25, Hudson Year, Tierney Fellowship, Communication Arts, PDN 30, and American Photography 20. Featured work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Harper’s. Lutz is currently on the faculty of the MFA programme at Bard College, The International Center of Photography, and Pratt Institute.

Design: Claudia Christen, New York

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