With this story we want to look at the basics and roots of fashion. Through the viewfinder we studied those who are nearest to us – the Great Apes.Some anthropologists say, that the prehistoric human was not only wearing animal fur for protection, but for dress up themselves and to impress others. This would mean also vanity and not only practical use was playing a role at the beginning of clothes. Is this directly leading into fashion? The fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld once mentioned that the difference between animals and human is the fashion. So, how big is the difference?
Our intention is to be aware of the flowing boundaries between us and our wild brothers and sisters – using fashion as a tool. We started giving them leafs, continued with fabric material, and ended up with designer clothes and accessories. In between you find some body studies of the “naked ape”. The pictures might look funny and also familiar, but all this has a serious scientific background too. This production was a walk along a borderline. With our pictures we never want to take away the dignity of the apes or be disrespectful.
The shootings took place in the Zoo Krefeld, Germany, with three species of Great Apes: Orang Utan, Chimpanzee and Gorilla. The animals were neither tamed nor trained. No person could enter the enclosures while the apes were in. Every piece we wanted to give them was thrown into. Whatever the animals did, they did on their own. Any intervention or directing was impossible.
To set the focus on the behaviour of the animals itself we removed the background from the original photographs.