gute aussichten – junge deutsche fotografie

My last full day in Berlin, an afternoon adventure with someone who takes rather splendid photographs herself of derelict amusement parks and summer berries… to Pottsdam, and a vast gallery pockmarked occasionally with bullets and shrapnel from the war. gute aussichten – junge deutsche fotografie was mostly quite engaging, some beautiful photography by recent graduates who understand what they are doing and have an artistic sensibility. I returned to the photos of Kazakhstan peasants because, well… it is Kazakhstan. The sheen of metallic playground toys in sepulchral gloom also. A documentary essay of a hotel or guesthouse in former East Germany, near Leibniz I think was well partial to my taste for decay.

But innerwald, a series in the Tropenhaus in the Zoologisches Museum, Bauernhof by ___ oh such a delight. I wanted to lick and scratch the dirty, warm glass, smear the moist dirt a little, humidity and fecund growth, then trace with my eyes for a long time the trails of what unknown sliding, perambulating creatures, threads like unravelled cells. And the monstrous shadows, an ogre looming over a bed of hay, a clutch of twigs caught mid-startled shock in the light, geraniums that seem most unfriendly, the penumbra of a bison’s fur and horn.

Certainly to visit Berlin’s Zoological Gardens upon my return.

stop beating the animals

$ sinobling $ returns from the zoo, and doesn’t have much good to say. The attitudes of so many Chinese to environment is pretty appalling, so it’s no surprise to see the spectrum of abhorrent behaviour stretches to tormenting defenceless and caged animals. Personally I’d like to wish SARS or even better, Ebola on every last one of those fuckers who thinks their pleather man-purse and loafers makes the superior to the rest of the planet. Or how about Mad Cow disease? There’s a veritable orgy of viruses, bacteria and prions to wish on all these cunts. In the meantime, I’m joining with sinobling in fighting for animal rights in China.

Last week I went to the Hangzhou zoo at the polite behest of an old friend who was visiting. Normally I like zoos. I see them as sanctuaries for injured or endangered animals that, for whatever reason, cannot be released back into the wild. We, in turn, can go to visit and observe them up close without traveling to their sometimes far away land of origin. Good zoos like the ones in Philadelphia, San Diego and Orlando are testaments to what can be done to study, protect and propagate the endangered species we are responsible for wiping off the face of the planet.

I’ve read and heard a lot of accounts of zoos in China and let me tell you, they aren’t the havens of wildlife conservation we consider them to be back in the states. Chinese zoos seem to be cut from the same cloth as traveling circuses and snuff film carnival tent shows. They (the employees) seem to have an overall disdain for the animals they keep as opposed to the reverence one would expect of dedicated zookeepers. I’ll start by saying this zoo was a lot better than what I was expecting but there are three things that stuck out about my visit that left an uneasy feeling in my stomach.