ceramic, felt, wood, passe-partout, 21 x 17 x 14 cm, 2020
Animal Behavior and Cities without Humans. When urban centers change because people move away or retreat, do animals take advantage of it? How? Playgrounds for Animals researches animal behavior with respect to urban centers, specifically in the absence, or reduced presence, of human beings. The reason why animals approach inhabited centers is usually functional: the search for food or heat. Climate change and the consequent difficulty in finding food in natural habitats force wild animals to move to places that are more dangerous but full of valuable resources: cities. During the pandemic, we watched, with amazement and perhaps a certain nostalgia, numerous videos and images of animals that have approached and moved into inhabited centers. Were they longing for a lost paradise of diversity? For a time when coexistence with wild animals was ordinary? Like fantastic appearances or associations in a Terry Gilliam movie, we have seen sheep playing on playground carousels or flamingos using a zebra crossing like one of The Beatles most memorable album covers. There are serious doubts that this was a conscious homage. These events open up some questions about the ways we live and whom we live with. Is urban cohabitation with a wide and diversified group of animals impossible? Are spaces designed by humanity, expanding far beyond cities in the broader sense, non-inclusive with respect to other living beings? Can the Anthropocene be overcome? This work is a sculpture of sheep on a carousel, inspired by a video recorded in Preston in the United Kingdom. In it, a small flock of sheep is playing on a merry-go-round.