Volker Seding

May 1, 1997 - May 31, 1997

Malay Tapir, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago
1985

Image © Volker Seding

Kudu, Heidelberg, Germany
1989

Image © Volker Seding

Baboons, Arnhem, Netherlands
1989

Image © Volker Seding

Leopard, �sti, Slovakia
1992

Image © Volker Seding

Volker Seding

The Zoo Portfolio

Perhaps I began this portfolio of animals in their cages because of a compassionate heart. For hours, sometimes whole days, I observed and waited for those moments of silence when the animals would reveal their beauty and grace.

When I grew up in Berlin we lived close to the zoo which I visited often. Strong memories and feelings remain and urge me to make larger connections to what happens on this planet.

Today we are separated from our ancestral past- a time when we lived an integrated life with nature and when animals were respected and essential to our survival. Confronted with the animal world our sentiment now places the animals beneath us; yet they are a mystery which goes beyond us and encompasses us, one which obliges us to face the central mystery of being.

Photography, as a showdown with reality, throws us back to our ancestral astonishment with regard to animals.

In my work the animals are presented captive, preframed by the walls and bars of their prison. Sometimes they appear to be sending us signals of desperation. Sadly, the zoo has become a place where the animals make their last stand.