NEW YORK.-London based collaborative artists Maslen & Mehra kick off 2008 with their first solo exhibition in New York at Priska Juschka Fine Art in Chelsea. The exhibition will include works from the Mirrored and Native series including new works produced in New York as part of the Native series. 2008 will also see the realisation of a book project titled Mirrored, which will be published by Hatje Cantz in collaboration with Galerie Caprice Horn/Berlin and the Arts Council of England.
Maslen & Mehras' practice explores ideas that revolve around the meeting point and overlapping of nature and culture. In the Mirrored and Native series, Maslen & Mehra have found themselves immersed in non-digital photographic techniques, in an age of digital photography and Photoshop trickery. For these series they create temporary interventions in natural and urban landscapes, which are then captured with a medium format film camera. The imagery from both these series suggests a place where we can have our cake and eat it too. A paradise where we strive to co-exist with the flora and fauna of the planet and a place where we can live in our urban realities but somehow still remain connected to nature.
In the Native series, Maslen & Mehra research fauna that are, or once were, indigenous to the country in which they are photographed. Mirrored sculptures of animals are placed in built urban environments and often reflect the man-made structures around them. Examples from the Native series include an America Eagle in Times Square, New York; a European Wolf and Red Squirrel in the Docklands, London; Lynx in an abandoned graffiti-covered warehouse in Berlin.
Works exhibited from the Mirrored series include images made in the UK, Sporades Marine Park, Australia, New Zealand, Death Valley and the Mojave Desert.
For the Mirrored series, M & M photograph or appropriate imagery of people, which are then fabricated into mirrored sculptures. The sculptures are set up in various compositions in different contexts and re-photographed with a medium format camera. The Mirrored series sees people from an urban context placed in a more natural environment. As city dwellers go through their day to day lives it is easy for one to forget about the experiences of wide open spaces, clean air, the smells of plants, the sounds of birds etc.. The Mirrored series relocates these people in mid stride, mid conversation to an altogether incongruous context.
Skateboarders appear in the scrubby bush of Western Australia, Catwalk models strut on a volcanic beach in New Zealand, Commuters walk amidst the wildflowers of the Mojave Desert. The juxtaposition of highly urban people placed in more natural landscapes result in works that raise issues of human existence on earth and alludes to the impermanence and fragility of mankind.