Cash, Clash & Climate – MASLEN & MEHRA
The artists propose a sculpture installation which brings together three themed collections of sculptures based on ceramics. The plates are hand-made in paper mache and are exhibited on bespoke structures fabricated by the artists. A local street artist will be invited to add his or her work to the surface of the ‘furniture’ in response to each theme. The idea is to keep adding to the surface of the stands creating a layered effect similar to graffiti experienced on the street. Multiple visits to the Victoria & Albert and British Museums, London; Mares Museum Barcelona the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Archaeological Museum, the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, Istanbul; and the Asian Museum of Civilization in Singapore inform this work. The narratives of each original plate are altered to highlight a variety of ideas tied to each theme.
Cash: For this collection the works explore bailouts, credit culture, quantitative easing, money made from war, tampon tax, housing bubbles, natural capital, the commodification of food staples and the almost religious status that money has reached in our times.
Clash: Social unrest from Istanbul to Athens, the use of social media to organize protests, the charged debate concerning gun control and gun rights in the US and even the London riots of 2011 feature.
Climate: This theme loosely covers environmental topics such as chronic pollution as a heavy cost for economic power in China, melting ice caps, the opposing views of climate change, the legacy of radiation from Japans nuclear disaster and the untimely death of a sperm whale in Spain from ingesting 17kg of plastics generated for British and European supermarkets.
Works by MASLEN & MEHRA are included in collections such as Tattinger Switzerland, Art Es Collecion Madrid, numerous international private collections and more recently the Altered Landscape Collection, Nevada Museum of Art which includes artists such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lewis Baltz, Edward Burtynsky, Amy Stein, David Maisel, and Fandra Chang. Solo exhibitions have been staged in New York, London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Dubai, Istanbul, Sydney and Berlin. A monograph titled MIRRORED is dedicated to two major series of work, the Mirrored and Native series and was published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg with support from the Arts Council Of England with texts by art historian Edward Lucie-Smith and Eugen Blume, curator at the Hamburger Bahnoff Museum Berlin. In 2011 there was a solo presentation of work from these two series for the Scotiabank CONTACT International Photo Festival, Toronto and in addition a commissioned public installation of lightboxes was commissioned for Halifax Ferry Terminal. A solo exhibition for Art Month Sydney took place at Conny Dietzschold Gallery in March 2012