Urban Animal, 2004-2019
Urban Animal is an exploration of the role that animals have in our society and of how we look at them and relate to them. The project explores the constructed environment that imitates the natural, as well as the romantic idea of representation and how it has evolved through history and the way animals are displayed for the public.
Zoos are direct mirrors of our societies; the way the Zoos are managed is a direct reflection of society's awareness about the environment and other species. By recording many different situations in different places it is possible to trace various nuances of meaning; cultural background, political situation and historical context. Doing so helps us to understand our relationship to the animal, nature, and to ourselves.
In the in the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris for example, the conditions in which animals are kept are shocking. It is a beautiful architecture from the time of the Art Nuveau period, but the animals are still kept like decorative objects in small enclosures. 'Sad Snake' shows a python who lives in two squared meters, with a little bit of water, two dry branches and a painted forest on the wall.