Hesitating Beauty is the latest book by Joshua Lutz, telling the story of his Mother’s decline whilst suffering from mental illness. A kind of insanity in its own right, the book flits between extracts from letters, photographs from a family archive and new work without chronology or description.
The confusion communicated by Hesitating Beauty reflects the strain and chaos of living and coping with a relative suffering from mental illness. As we work our way through the book, a sense of unease and anxious page turning transforms in to an overwhelming sadness and sympathy for Lutz. We begin to see how memory can distort reality as the book seamlessly flows through the past and present, whilst raising questions about the future.
Holding on so tightly to what I believed was sanity yet consumed by fear of depression and schizophrenia prevented me from being fully present to her reality. She slowly slipped away from the aggressive paranoia of my youth to an almost calming sense of delusion.
As a young boy, I watched her search for the right numbered pattern on license plates and at night unscrewing the phones to look for recording devices. It was fun to think that we were more important than everyone else, that we were on a mission. That excitement was displaced with tremendous anger, but mostly fear, as thoughts that I too could end up like her began to take form. These debilitating emotions eventually dissolved into empathy and compassion opening to her reality without the fear of loosing myself.
Looking back on the family archive for clues and understanding, my role in shaping that story began to collide with the memory of how it exists and a desire to change it. Falling deeper into the psychosis I imagined a time when the past, present and future collided; a place where the weight of that memory is heavier than reality.
To view the entire series please visit: www.joshualutz.com
Venue: Clampart Gallery, 531 W 25th St New York, NY 10001
Open: 11th April - 18th May 2013
For more information please visit: http://www.clampart.com
Title: Hesitating Beauty
Publisher: Schilt Publishing, 2013
96 Pages, Illustrated throughout, 6×9″
For more information about the book, please visit: http://www.joshualutz.com