January 1, 2009

Zoo 2007

These are a few photos that I took during a trip to the zoo a couple years back. Since around 2002 I have been photographing zoos. It's a pretty informal project, one that I add images to here and there. The whole zoo experience is definitely shaped and guided by many visual cues--from the ways that animals are displayed (almost theatrical in some cases) to the signage that leads visitors through exhibits. Then, of course, the commercialization is always interesting. Another fascinating aspect is the idea that zoos are places where many different understandings of humanity, culture, science, and power are played out on a daily basis. As people wander through these parks they are treated to a certain system of presentation and organization that is theoretically designed to entertain AND educate. However, in some cases it seems that there might be quite a bit more of the former than the latter.

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