In “Zoolandscape,” two Czech artists, photographer Jakub Skokan and visual artist Martin Tuma, document the artificial environments that house some of the world’s most wild and exotic creatures. This project focuses on European zoos' attempts to simulate the natural habitats of various animals. You might think such photos would evoke excitement and wonder, but they are actually depressing.
Walls painted in jungle blues and greens seem comically meek next to the sheer majesty of a tiger; sparse withering trees and images of waterfalls do not make an acceptable substitute home for monkeys. The manufactured simplicity and confined spaces of these landscapes heighten the sense of entrapment each animal must feel. These images capture the perverted theatre that the zoo-goer has come to see. The animals are performers and captives for their expectant human audience.
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