Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison «Listening to the Earth» 2003.


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«Inherent in this civilization of consumption and technology is the waste and destruction of the vulnerable earth. The mythic world we create in our photographs mirrors our world, where nature is domesticated and controlled. The scenes we depict however, display futile attempts to save or rejuvenate nature. We portray these attempts within our work by inventing machines and contraptions from junk and obsolete equipment. These contraptions are intended to help the character we portray to jump-start a dying planet. We patch holes in the sky, create rain machines, chase storms to create electricity, communicate with the earth to learn its needs. Within these scenes, we create less refined, less scientific, more ritualistic and poetic possibilities to work with nature rather than destroy it.» ~ Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

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«Wearing the black suit, we attempt to represent the archetype of the modern man. We want to represent as aspect of civilization beyond just ourselves. In our images we become characters who are inventors, scientists, caretakers and fools. We place ourselves not as omnipotent observers, but as part of the process of our own image making. Thus we attempt to present a focused, compelling, point of view. We attempt to draw the viewer into the scene without dictating a message or the outcome of the myth presented.

The nature of our images and the process of their construction are the interdisciplinary, embodying aspects of theater, sculpture, painting and photography. Our work begins with the construction of sets and props. These objects are photographed in staged scenes within damaged or constructed landscapes. We manipulate the photograph via darkroom techniques and mixed media. This allows us the opportunity to enhance or subdue elements within the scene. The image is altered further by paints and varnishes. None of the images are real in the factual sense, but they are treated as precious talismans of a lost moment, a documented super-reality, whose message, like that of all myth, transcends the small realities of the day to day world.» ~ Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

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«He (Robert ParkeHarrison) comes down on the side of lamentation but expresses it with an unusual combination of poetic license, laboriously constructed props and a wry and melancholy, vaguely allusive sense of myth. He appears in every picture, in a black suit and white shirt with no tie, a kind of Everyman or a minor employee of the universe, patiently, dutifully doing a job that's too big for him. That job is essentially to take care of the devastated Earth with inadequate equipment. He works or performs obscure rituals in large and empty landscapes beneath gray skies. Perhaps this is one man's private way of saying that neither pollution, global warming nor digitalization can entirely extinguish the hands-on experience and the human desire to create.» ~ StumbleUpon blogger.

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Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Listen to the Earth, 2003
Hand-bound book with 11 platinum prints and letterpress text
21st Publishers of Fine Art Photography Books.

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Book of Life, 2002.

sources: parkeharrison.com, zorq.stumbleupon.com