Theatrically Composed Scenes Highlight Human’s Impact on Earth

"Logic of Spring" (2015)

“Logic of Spring” (2015), all images @ Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison / image courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison have been a collaborative duo for the last 20 years, mixing Shana’s interest in dance with Robert’s background in photography to produce environments specifically for their combined practice. A constant theme throughout the couple’s two decade long work has been man’s effect on the landscape—showcasing how we are constantly influencing, and more often than not damaging, the Earth.

“We create works in response to the ever-bleakening relationship linking humans, technology, and nature,” says the ParkeHarrison’s artist statement. “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.”

Recently the work has reflected the pair’s love of theater and performance, with pieces such as Intermission (2015) and Soliloquy (2015) showcasing stages large and small set inside larger post-apocalyptic scenes. In Riverview (2015) the subject holds a tapestry in front of a rundown carnival, an image of a beautiful river masking what may have paved over its former place. In First of May (2015) the subject listens closely to two megaphones in a hazy field, perhaps searching for wisdom from nature rather than man.

The ParkeHarrison’s exhibition Precipice opens March 11 at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago and runs through April 30, 2016. You can see more of the couple’s work on the gallery’s website.

"Soujourn" (2015)

“Sojourn” (2015)

"Precipice" (2015)

“Precipice” (2015)

"Intermission" (2015)

“Intermission” (2015)

"Downpour" (2015)

“Downpour” (2015)

"Riverview" (2015)

“Riverview” (2015)

"Soliloquy" (2015)

“Soliloquy” (2015)

"First of May" (2015)

“First of May” (2015)

"Nature Morte" (2015)

“Nature Morte” (2015)

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