Klara Beck /Zoo

In his famous essay Why Look at Animals? John Berger describes the zoo as a monument to the impossibility of an encounter between human and animal. For Strasbourg artist Klara Beck, however, the zoo is a magical place that belongs neither to untamed nature nor to the domesticated realm and thus offers the potential for a meeting of the two worlds.

Her photo series takes an incisive look – with a strong dose of sympathy and humor mixed in – at the zoo visitors’ quest for untouched nature. But at the same time, Beck’s frequently multi-layered black-and-white images harbor the implicit understanding that, especially at the zoo, this kind of primal experience only lives on as a bottled memory.

Klara Beck (*1974) has been working in a studio at the CEAAC art center in Strasbourg since 2003. Her works have been published in national and international magazines including Le Monde, Terre Sauvage and Eyemazing, and shown in several exhibitions.


Klara Beck. zoo. Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg, 2008. ISBN: 9783939583844