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Thread: 97% Human: portraits of apes by Arthur Xanthopoulos

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default 97% Human: portraits of apes by Arthur Xanthopoulos

    An orang-utan appears trapped in thought by his own reflection in this amazing portrait captured at Melbourne Zoo.
    Using techniques normally employed by baby photographers to produce emotional pictures, talented Arthur Xanthopoulos, 38, has forged an incredible relationship with our primate brothers.
    And his striking shots of facial expressions not so dissimilar from theose of humans add tangible evidence to the fact that monkeys share so many of our genes.
    The pictures were taken as part of a project called 97% Human, and give us incredibly moving images of orang-utans, gorillas and baboons.

    Mmm... maybe: Orangutan Suman, pictured at Melbourne Zoo, looks contemplative in the 97% Human exhibit

    'These primates have the ability to recognise I have a camera and I'm taking photos of them,' explained Mr Xanthopoulous.
    'They change their behaviour in response to my presence just like a human model would do.
    'There's a personal interaction between myself and the apes which I convey through the pictures.
    'I hope to let their unique personalities shine through so people can feel this for themselves, particularly through eye contact- which is a powerful way of communicating for both humans and apes.'

    Get lost, this is private? A western lowland gorilla seems perturbed by photographer Arthur Xanthopoulos

    In one heart warming image, female orangutan, Suma, 32, gazes at the ripples of her own reflection in the pool of her enclosure.
    Another picture shows a western lowland gorilla at Melbourne Zoo in Australia playfully sticking his tongue out at the camera while a very human sadness is evident in the eyes of baboons and apes in the exhibition.
    'When people look at the images I've created I hope they will see their own reflection and this will make them think how much more we have in common with primates than the difference in our bodies might suggest,' said Mr Xanthopoulous.
    'I see my work as a way to create a degree of awareness in people's minds and help them to see these animals in a different way.'

    I want to be alone: A baboon at Melbourne Zoo seems to have recently heard some distressing news

    Living close to Melbourne Zoo and striking up friendships with staff gave Arthur prime access to the unusually open primate enclosures he found there.
    He prefers to shoot on days where the sky is overcast and the light is even enough to allow him to bring out the features of the primates.
    'I try to pick moments when I'm going to see the best of the animal I'm photographing,' he explained.
    'I focus on the human characteristics of how primates look and how they sit in front of the camera.'
    Melbourne Zoo is home a total of 320 animals species including six orangutans, eight gorillas and many other primate species.

    Life - don't talk to me about life: A tree-hanging ape stares sadly into the middle distance

    Since Australia's oldest zoo opened in 1892 it has launched international campaigns to save the endangered orangutans of Borneo and the gorillas threatened in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    'I think the most important aspect to my work is that although the primates are living in a zoo, 97 per cent human shows that they're not just animals,' Mr Xanthopoulous added.
    'In the wild the habitats these apes depend on are being destroyed at a very high rate.
    'They may not be humans and they may not possess the kinds of rights and benefits humans enjoy.
    'But they have the same capacity for emotion and feeling as we do and we should respect them as such.

    'Ninety seven percent human is food for thought in this regard.'

    Can I help you? Menyaru the Orangutan seems to be questioning the photographer's interest

    Read more: Primate portraits prove monkeys are 97% human | Mail Online

  2. #2
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    The Gorilla's expression! Lovely pictures.

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