Restoration: Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison

October 11, 2008—February 8, 2009

Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L11

This exhibition signifies a mid-career survey of major photographs by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, who have achieved international renown for their constructed, allegorical works. In most of these carefully crafted images, Robert ParkeHarrison appears dressed in a black suit and white shirt, an Everyman or minor helpmate of the universe. It is the job of Everyman to take care of a devastated Earth using completely inadequate equipment. Everyman's heroic—if perhaps futile—attempts to save the planet can be viewed as hopeful, sad, or apocalyptic.

Although the ParkeHarrisons raise questions about ecology, human responsibility, and destiny, their works (wisely) allow each viewer to come to their own interpretations. Visually inventive and provocatively "unreal," the photographs are printed from paper negatives which have been cut and joined together to create a synthetic printing matrix. This genuinely original technique, combined with the elaborate set construction, cross many photographic barriers to provide a fascinating hybrid of painting, photography, and performance art.

Image: Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, American, Robert, b. 1968; Shana, b. 1964. Kingdom, 2000. Gelatin silver print with mixed media. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc. 2005.27.176.

This exhibition is supported by the Hall Family Foundation. Midwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

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