Cash, Clash & Climate - MASLEN & MEHRA
All the sculptures in this series are hand-made by Maslen & Mehra using wire, paper-mâché and decoupage. 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, 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.
'For me, the most spectacular moments of thought were created by a collection of plates. A nostalgic medium usually created in ceramics, but in this case recreated in papermache in the hands of Maslen and Mehra, they are transformed into a sinister community reflective tool addressing the political, cultural and moral decisions we make and how they may be addressed as historical artefacts or moments in time. Almost mocking the way in which we now live compared to our past, they highlight our obsession with money, power and possessions.' Ruth Page The Upcoming