Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison have created a sad, poignant, insightful, mysterious, and odd series of photographs called The Architect’s Brother. Many of the pieces of the series are set against an apocalyptic bacground – a blasted earth – in which the “Everyman”, a plain-looking man in a suit, performs some act of healing or restoration. I had the chance to see an exhibit of their work last week in the Nelson Adkins Museum in Kansas City and it was without a doubt my favorite thing I saw that day.
The themes of the work come through in the actions of the Everyman. He often is shown atop a contraption that is somehow bringing healing and life to the earth, as in Restoration, or he is using his body and blood to fertilize the soil, as in The Exchange, or he is listening to the stories of trees, or teaching birds how to fly, or mourning an earth laid waste with waste. Here are some others: