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Ignacio Evangelista 
Two elephants in Valencia 
[Natural Selection / Selección Natural] 
2008 
  
C-print 
120 x 90 cm 
  
Provided by the artist - Ignacio Evangelista 
 
LL/91274 
  
The Natural Selection series depicts modern zoological parks from different European cities where animals are put into spaces which mimic their original habitats. The staging of these places seems to somehow reflect the preconceived notion of what human beings believe, or more specifically what the western white man believes, nature is in its pure state. In other occasions, especially when they hold large groups of animals, these places follow a purely rational type of organization, driven by criteria such as order and cleanliness, and the classification and enumeration of the members of the group.
 
The life of wild animals in these zoological gardens that either imitate their natural habitats or try to respond to an extreme rationalization of physical space, generates disturbing and contradictory images. The artful “territories” created for them contrast powerfully with the wild nature of the animals.
 
"Public zoos came into existence at the beginning of the period which was to see the disappearance of animals from daily life. The zoo to which people go to meet animals, to observe them, to see them is, in fact, a monument to the impossibility of such encounters. Modern zoos are an epitaph to a relationship which was as old as man. They are not seen as such because the wrong questions have been addressed to zoos." (John Berger: Why look at animals?
 

 
  
 
  
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