The relentless growth of cities and the expansion of populations living in them have inevitable substantial and detrimental environmental effects. One of these is the displacement of wildlife. This is the thematic concern of Native series by Tim Maslen & Jennifer Mehra. Cities including London, New York, Paris, Rome, Istanbul and Berlin have all been the subject of Maslen & Mehra’s experimental photographs. Heavily built-up urban landscapes are photographed in the early hours, when they are devoid of human activity. The artists take this fleeting opportunity to re-introduce native species into the picture in the form of mirrored sculptures. Roe Deer appear to graze in Canary Wharf, a financial district of London; an American Eagle takes flight in Times Square, New York, capturing a skyscraper and brilliant neon on its mirrored wing; a group of European Brown Bear loiter outside the Bibliotheque of the German Parliament in Berlin; American Buffalo wander over Roosevelt Island, New York.
Maslen & Mehra place us in a quiet and still experience of the city — “a place, which subsequently can sustain the existence of species other than ourselves. This is not to say that the artists wish for the demise of people and the triumph of nature. The imagery seeks to engage with the viewer and instill in them a desire to witness a more balanced and equitable existence on earth.”
Maslen & Mehra will be featured in the exhibition, The Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment, on view at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada from 24 September 2011– 8 January 2012. An accompanying 288-page, full colour, publication, published by Skira Rizzoli and the Nevada Museum of Art, will survey the Museum‘s signature Altered Landscape photography collection that includes images that examine human interaction and intervention with the environment. The thirty-year span of The Altered Landscape begins with the work of the New Topographics photographers, including Robert Adams, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, and Lewis Baltz. Alongside these pioneering photographers are contemporary works by artists including Mark Klett, Patrick Nagatani, John Pfahl, Maslen & Mehra, Jim Sanborn, Sharon Stewart, Amy Stein, and Fandra Chang. Edited by Ann M. Wolfe, Curator of Exhibitions, Nevada Museum of Art. Support for this publication is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
The Altered Landscape. Photographs of a Changing Environment. Nevada Museum Of Art, 24 September 2011 – 8 January 2012.
Images: European Brown Bear – Bibliotheque German Parliament – Berlin. 2007. Print on aluminium and laminated acrylic, 120 x 160cm. American Buffalo : Roosevelt Island : New York 2007 Native Series. Durst Lambda, dibond and acrylic. 160 x 120cm. Altered Landscape Collection, Nevada Museum Of Art.