Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, the husband and wife team whose photographic tableaus address the relationship of humans, technology and nature, return to Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago to debut new work in Gautier’s Dream. The exhibition opens March 7 and runs through May 3, 2014.
There will be an opening reception with the artists on Friday, March 7, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
There will be a free gallery talk on Saturday, March 8 at Noon. Immediately following the gallery talk, Robert & Shana will join us for our next Appetite for Art, a 3-course luncheon at Club Lago with the artists (space is limited to 10). Details can be found on our website.
Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison gained instant recognition for their collaborative works shortly after graduate school when they began constructing and choreographing scenarios about mans effect on the landscape. In these stagings, Robert would dress in a black suit and starched white shirt, often referenced as the Everyman, and interact with the land, creating environmental performances. These surreal images addressed issues about the earth and mankind’s responsibility to heal the damage he created, and can be seen in their well-regarded first monograph, The Architect’s Brother, and in their second book of color images,Counterpoint,
Their newest series, Gautier’s Dream, marks a return to b&w imagery that reveals their love of opera, dance and cinema. Inspired by French artist, writer and critic, Théophile Gautier, these new works explore dramas that unfold in front of an audience and behind the velvet curtain. Their Everyman, once obsessed with saving the earth, now breathes in the earth, his face inhabited by sunflowers and daffodils (The Lover); becomes a collector of moths/butterflies by listening to them (Thief of Paris); and turns into a willing puppet, dressed in a top hat, awaiting his grand entrance (Apparition of Mallarmé). As the artists state:
“Our everyman balances on a small circus platform as he breaks from his burden of salvaging a dying world. These unexpected visual moments are not necessarily what the Everyman signed up for. But he partakes in the timelessness of ritual and make-believe. It is a world only slightly removed from his standard tasks. In fact, outside, beyond the velvety curtains and spangled chandeliers, we see the very the landscape he often tirelessly tries to rejuvenate and repair. The stage offers endless narrative possibilities and favors contradictions – hope and despair, desire and failure… to explore the fragile human condition, and the overarching shadow of environmental destruction. Perhaps the only true hope for our world and our human spirit rests in our ability to imagine.”