A walk through the Zoo, lecture by Andrea Palašti

“In the accompanying ideology, animals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance. They are the objects of our ever-extending knowledge. What we know about them is an index of our power, and thus an index of what separates us from them. The more we know, the further away they are.” (John Berger, Why Look at Animals, 1980)

As the dictionary defines, the word 'zoo' (noun) can relate to: 1. an establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public; 2. a situation characterized by confusion and disorder. Through history, Zoo’s transformed the way we see animals and ourselves. Emerging as an emblem of a colonial power, Zoo’s have been always inspired debates because they changed our relationship with the nature. Today, Zoo’s sometimes enlighten us, sometimes outrage us and provoke us. Zoo’s enrich lives, but also destroys them. Playing with the dualism of the meaning of the ‘zoo’, the lecture performance represents a tier-dokufiction research project about the Schönbrunn Zoo and its animals. Formed around four narrative structures, it follows the lives of different animals and its historical contexts. It re-contextualises one part of the picture archive, formed by a former Zoo director Otto Antonius (1925-1945), which is today kept in the Geschichtsforschung & Dokumentation of the Schönbrunn Zoo.



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Andrea Palasti is a visual artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. She works across artistic and curatorial boundaries that experiments with archives, methodologies and contextual aspects of art, concentrating on issues of cultural geography, history and the everyday life. She holds a master´s degree in Photography from the Academy of Art in Novi Sad, and a PhD in Art and Media Theory from the University of Arts in Belgrade. Since 2006 she has been exhibiting widely and working together with other artists, artistic collectives and initiatives. She works as a lecturer at the Department for New media at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad. Currently she is an artist in residence at KulturKontakt in Vienna, Austria.

The presentation is possible thanks to the Artists-in-Residence program of the Austrian Federal Chancellery and KulturKontakt Austria.

Lecture is part of Exhibiting/IZK Theory Lecture Series and supported by Stadt Graz, Das Land Steiermark and Camera Austria.




A walk through the Zoo, lecture by Andrea Palašti