Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison‘s photographs are a response to the ever diminishing relationship between man, technology and nature. The issues surrounding the environment have never been more pressing and this incredible husband and wife team are tackling the subject in a rather unique way. They have created a character as a vehicle for their ideas, an Everyman, a representative of humankind – dressed in a black suit and white shirt – who interacts with the earths landscape. The resulting images are of a man toyed with, played like a puppet, using improbable implements and machinery to both protect, heal and communicate with the land. All without hope.
These tableaux are elaborate fictions that often take months to develop and build. They are more akin to stage sets, scenes built on a film set in which the Everyman plays out a life of of despair in a series of impossible surreal situations. As Robert ParkeHarrison said about the work;
I want to make images that have open, narrative qualities, enough to suggest ideas about human limits. I want there to be a combination of the past juxtaposed with the modern. I use nature to symbolize the search, saving a tree, watering the earth. In this fabricated world, strange clouds of smog float by; there are holes in the sky. These mythic images mirror our world, where nature is domesticated, controlled, and destroyed.
The ParkeHarrisons work is important. It’s there to remind us, through humour, pathos, imagination and play what we continue to do to the land and what we need to do to heal it.
We create works in response to the ever-bleakening relationship linking humans, technology, and nature. These works feature an ambiguous narrative that offers insight into the dilemma posed by science and technology’s failed promise to fix our problems, provide explanations, and furnish certainty pertaining to the human condition. Strange scenes of hybridizing forces, swarming elements, and bleeding overabundance portray Nature unleashed by technology and the human hand.
They will be exhibting their latest work from the 14th September at The Mediations Biennale 2012, Poznan, Poland
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