Curiosity and Control
Based on a portrait of the pioneering Akeley, “Curiosity and Control” addresses the different ways animals are presented in natural history museums and zoos, critically exploring various perspectives. What is man’s relation to the fauna? It’s marked by curiosity and control: the former drove early scientists to collect, own, and systematise animals since the early expeditions – and preserve them from extinction. Ownership, however, also generates dominance. Is it permissible to keep other species in cages? No matter how “natural” and humane the zoo architecture is: “You will see something that looks like an elephant. But it’s not behaving like a wild elephant,” a zoo director says. Another dilemma.