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'Artificial Paradise' Britta Jaschinski's debut solo exhibition in Asia

20 August 2014
Award winning animal and wildlife photographer Britta Jaschinski opens her first solo show in Asia this month.  ‘Artificial Paradise’ is a collection of images documenting and conveying the detached and often fractured existence of animals in captivity.

Jaschinski documents animals at their worst suffering, the poignant and heart wrenching images show animals which seem not only physically detached from their natural surroundings but appear psychologically isolated. Conveying the animals’ loneliness, alienation and displacement the images nevertheless pay homage to their nobility as well as an angry protest at their constraints.

Working alongside animal welfare groups and charity campaigns, Jaschinski has catalogued wildlife and animal cruelty from many angles; first in the commercial field and then independently in her own research and artistic exploration. German-born and based in London, she learnt the craft of photography through working in advertising and still undertakes shoots for animal-charity ad campaigns. In the late 1990s, she undertook a major project documenting the haunting nature of confined animals, resulting in Zoo – a traveling exhibition and book. This was followed by a series of work examining our relationship with other living creatures in the wild and how nature can be seen as both eternal and transient, displayed in a European touring exhibition and the linked book Wild Things. The  images in this exhibition are a selection of the comprehensive work she has undertaken.

A Metro client for more than twenty years, Jaschinski still shoots on her old Nikon 4 analogue camera using traditional black & white film. Metro is thrilled to have produced drum scans and all silver gelatin photographic prints for the show in Taiwan.

For information about Britta Jaschinski
For information about Artificial Paradise

Gallery Ren’ai. No.25-1, Sec. 4, Ren’ai Rd., Taipei City 106, Taiwan

Exhibition dates: 19th August - 4th October 2014
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Images & captions © Britta Jaschinski.

1. The Performance: Chimelong International Circus, Guangzhou, China, March 2012.
‘Heaven of Animals brings Happiness to People’ is the slogan of the Chimelong International Circus. Three times a day, this Orang-utan steps out of his tiny cage onto the stage. He is dressed in a costume to accompany the clown. The animals ‘work hard' to get rewarded with food, simply because they are starved before the performance.
2. Concrete Bear:Polar Bear, Bremerhaven Zoo, Germany, 1993
In the 90’s I worked extensively to document animals in zoos, across Europe and the United States. Much pain swept through my lens. I framed bored, frustrated and insane animals who appeared as reluctant figures in some insolvable puzzle, or as victims of a grand experiment whose original purpose is lost in history. To me, zoo enclosures seem to be an expression of our arrogance and our compulsive desire to posses and control.
3. Silent Whale: Beluga Whale, Coney Island, New York, USA 1995
People often mistake the Beluga’s facial feature with a smile, but this is just the shape of their head and not an expression! Born in the wild waters of Canada, and caught shortly after, this Beluga whale came to NY Aquarium in Coney Island in 1974. For 30 years she circled monotonously, silently in a small chlorine-treated, water-filled concrete tank, till she died in April 2004. The photo is dedicated to her and all Beluga whales in captivity.
4. Black Panther: Tanzania, East Africa, 2003
Black Panther is part of the 'Wild Things' series (published Thames & Hudson). These carnivores are masters of ambush, and it is thought that their dark colour adaptation might aid these cats in their hunting. Unfortunately, this colour variation of the species is just as susceptible to threats like habitat loss. As I zoomed into the beautiful coat of the beast I saw the typical markings (rosettes) of a leopard, but hidden by the excess black pigmentation, giving an effect similar to that of silk
5. The Rebel: Orang-Utan, Sanctuary, England 2007
The Orang-utan is faced with extinction directly as a result of habitat destruction. His daring and bold gesture perfectly symbolised the resistance I have always hoped for - seemingly a defiance against that most self-important of animals – homo sapiens
6. Britta Jaschinski

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