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The Architect’s brother

The series The Architect’s Brother by the Artist duo ParkeHarrison takes us on a journey to a melancholy, old fashioned and surreal looking world. At the centre of the images’ stands the lone anti-hero “Everyman”, who is trying his hardest to heal the wounded earth.

Robert ParkeHarrison said in the foreword to his monograph, "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."

For me “Everyman” represents the human consciousness and its devotion to the earth. The images reflect a suffering world; the soil is ruined, the skies are grey and gloomy, and the plants have stopped growing. In the midst of all of this stands Everyman, a healer and an old fashioned inventor. On view are fantastic tools, many of them inspired by old inventions. They have been built in order for him to make rain, clean the clouds, collect the plants and listen to the trees.

A few of my favourite images are “Mending the earth”, where he sows together a crack in the ground with a gigantic needle, and "Reclamation" in which he drags a 'sheet' of grass over the soil, as if trying to create a new layer to protect the earth. These two pieces both reflect the meaninglessness of Everyman’s efforts, as well as highlighting a lone man's loosing battle. The emphasis in these images should however be on the action not on the aftermath.

Mending the Earth Mending the earthParkeHarrison_ReclamationReclamation  davinci Da Vinci's Wingstheexchange Tree exchangearborday Arbor day  

For me the atmosphere and subject matter  which pervades these images fits well with T.S Eliot’s Wasteland:

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,                                 
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water.  “

Outtake from

The burial of the dead, the Wasteland by T.S Eliot


This series was made between 1993-2005. I think in this current digital age the process in which they were constructed is worth mentioning:

“[T]he ParkeHarrisons printed their photographs from large paper negatives made by cutting and pasting a variety of images together. The underlying mechanics of this technique--including the seams between individual images--are carefully painted out in the negative. A photographic print is then made, which is often painted with a layer of varnish or beeswax. This genuinely original technique, combined with their elaborate process of set construction, crosses many creative boundaries. The result is a fascinating hybrid of sculpture, performance, painting and photography.”


All  images copywrite belongs to the artists

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