Oil pumps in the penguin pen, toxic waste in the aquarium and abandoned cars in the rhino enclosure. Austrian artists Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf have turned the Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna into a large-scale environmental art installation.
The Trouble in Paradise installation involves the addition of unusual elements in the animals’ enclosures at the zoo and attempts to challenge the notion of paradisiacal nature and raise awareness about the destruction of animal habitat around the world.
“Surprising effects occur when nature and civilization confront each other, shifting our perception of the actual relationship between animals and humans,” explain the artists. “The troubled relationship of nature and civilization is reformulated as a vivid and palpable experience, reaching out to entrap the spectator.”
The exhibit, although visually interesting, seems a bit antiquated in its believe that ‘…zoos are sites of paradisiacal nature” and that their exhibit will challenge the notion of “… the summer idyll of the zoo”. It also seems rather naïve to drag various toxic elements (see what appears to be oil leaking out of the red car in the rhino enclosure) into a primarily concrete zoo to raise awareness about the changing relationship between animals and their environments.
Trouble in Paradise is open from June 10 to October 18, 2009 at the Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna.
Via: The Guardian UK