Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison are a husband and wife team whose photographic tableaus took the art world by storm. They began collaborating on photographs shortly after graduate school, when they began constructing and choreographing scenarios about mans affect on the landscape. Their work focuses on the relationship between humans and the environment—an idea that has only recently come to popularity with movements like the Go Green initiative and concepts like the carbon footprint. Creating a genre unique within the photo world, the ParkeHarrisons construct fantasies in the guise of environmental performances. Their multi-media approach, includes painting, sculpture and performance art. The final product, sometimes digital, appears to be made with historic photographic processes, making the future look alternately dreamlike and old, which combined with the construction of absurd cobbled-together machines implies a partial loss of technology, adding one more loss to the mix. For more than twenty years, they have explored this theme, showing us the power of nature, and the effect our actions have on 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.
– Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison