Puzzle Box, 2009
Artist book: green box containing four elements:
- Booklet showing 17 photographs of a group of western lowland gorillas, photographed between 2004 and 2009 and sequence drawings tracing the movement of the camera in space
- DVD containing two video studies of the same gorilla group:
Video 1: Movement and positions in space: 5:10 min. (2006), Video 2: Entering and leaving the frame: 19:50 min. (2009)
- Space/Positions/Movements: a drawn map of the relationship between the gorilla’s habitat and the videos and photographs
- Leaflet of texts by writers from various disciplines in response to the above material
Authors: Markus Wild, Christina Wessely, Bernard Wallner, Frans de Waal, Marianne Sommer, Mélisandre C. Schofield, Erika Ruonakoski, Lucia Di Iorio, Jan Hein Hoogstad, Saara Hacklin,Vinciane Despret, Frances Bartkowski, Anthony Auerbach
This project was supported by BMUKK (AT) and published by the Jan van Eyck Academie (NL)
green box containing all the elements of Puzzle Box
Puzzle Box is modeled after ‘Beschäftigungskästen’, which were designed specifically for apes as an interactive occupation and recreation tool. The apes are expected to learn how to manipulate grains inside the box by pushing them from one level to the next in order to gain access to the food.
Puzzle Box is based on observations of a group of western lowland gorillas living in a zoo in Germany. Studies in the form of photographs, videos and drawings were conducted over a period of five years.
The box contains four elements : a booklet of photographs, a Video DVD, a hand-drawn map and a leaflet of texts.
The photographs and drawings in the booklet introduce this specific group of western lowland gorillas and their habitat by moving the spectators’ vision back and forth through the space.
The DVD contains two video studies of the same gorilla group. ‘Movement and positions in space’ shows five separate scenes of encounters and interactions.
‘Entering and leaving the frame’ is a plan fixe in a corner of the space. All activity in this corner is visible as the individual gorillas enter and exit the frame.
‘Space/Positions/Movements’ is a map of the relationship between the gorilla’s habitat and the videos and photographs. Within the map one can identify the individual animals and their position in each image or video, decode their postures and actions as well as read some additional notes by the artist.
The forth element is a collection of texts by writers from various disciplines in response/relation to the above material.
The texts were developed in parallel to the project and some reflect the ‘evolution’ of the
Photography booklet, Picture 1
Photography booklet, Picture 7
Photography booklet, sequence drawings tracing the movement of the camera in space
Drawn map: Space/Positions/Movements, for magnification click on image
stills from Video 1 Movement and positions in space
Full version of the Video 1: Movement and positions in space: 5:10 min., 2006
stills from Video 2 Entering and leaving the frame
Excerpt (4.47 min) of the Video 2: Entering and leaving the frame, 2009
text booklet, for magnification of first text click on image