Going to the zoo is a favorite summer past-time. Visitors to the Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna will see lots of animals in recreated ‘natural’ habitats. Except this summer, along with the animals, there’s an odd addition. Junk.

The zoo is hosting the work of two German artists who are questioning whether the environments created at zoos are actually natural representations of the real world. In this case, one untouched by man. Artists Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf created a new ‘natural’ context in which to view the animals in an exhibition called Trouble in Paradise.

In one enclosure, the German duo have half-submerged a car in a watering hole used by the resident rhinos. In another enclosure, penguins frolic in the shadow of an oil pump, and in yet another, alligators must share their modest bayou with a bathtub and a monster truck tire.

The artists hope the exhibition forces the viewer to reconsider their idyllic vision of what a natural animal habitat looks like and realize the impact man has had on the environment.




Via Psfk, via Pruned

Enjoying this story? Show it to us!


Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!


  • Do yall have any pictures of a habitat/community?

    Posted on

  • i have to see that :D it's in the city i live in... didnt recognize it yet, though...

    Posted on

  • I'd be very interested in seeing this exhibit I think it's a perfect representation of what's happening to the world and hopefully it can make some people think.

    Posted on

  • I think too. it it could be weird. But I think it could be a good way to advise how is our enviroment suffering. It could we weird to the eye, but its better see something that we donlt like that keeping ignoring whats really happening.

    Posted on

  • No one likes going to zoos more than me. But honestly, I would not enjoy this exhibit. It’s kind of preachy, and actually I really do want to see the animals in exhibits that mimic their “natural” habitats, even if those habitats are from the past. That being said, I did visit this Vienna zoo a couple years ago and I was truly impressed. Lots of ancient architecture and a most impressive collection. I believe they’re the only zoo in Europe with both koalas and giant pandas. Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America's Best Zoos

    Posted on

More like this