Ceslovas Cesnakevicius: Zoo

Lithuanian artist Ceslovas Cesnakevicius‘ photo manipulations using two images imagine what it would be like if we shared our every day world with wild animals. The whimsical black and white photographs were taken during Cesnakevicius travels in London and Amsterdam. ‘I saw the diversity of people of different cultures and nationalities, with all sorts of extravagant outfits and looks and yet people keep to themselves and don’t seem to notice,’ he says. ‘I had this thought: “A hairy beast walking wouldn’t bother anybody too much here, as long as it minded its own business”.’ So this is how the idea for the series ‘The Zoo’ came about: diversity that is splendid but often forgotten about. This level of good-natured tolerance towards others led Cesnakevicius to consider the different kinds of things that could appear in a city, without locals even noticing something is amiss. these musings brought the artist to this recently-completed photographic series titled ‘the zoo’, where wild animals seemingly land in the middle of london, paris, barcelona, berlin and amsterdam without reason. on the streets of some of the most visited european cities in the world, a family of penguins emerges from a subway station in paris, three zebras nonchalantly cross the road, and a gorilla peruses the shelves of a record store. Cesnakevicius’ own images of the cities has been photographically manipulated to include the diverse set of animals. while ‘the zoo’ can be interpreted at as an amusing and surreal series, the larger tone of the collection speaks about societal tolerance and the unity that could be experienced in all corners of the globe.


AUTHOR: Nina Azzarello