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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

09.07.2018

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The Berlin-based photographer took pictures of stuffed animals in museums for her delightfully colourful, Last Paradise series – a criticism against the extinction of threatened species. She chose King Kong for the LFI blog.

“I just call the picture The Ape. It is, in fact, a western lowland gorilla that was standing at the very back of a warehouse at the Salzburg Museum of Natural Science. It’s at least three metres tall and incredibly heavy. We couldn’t move it into my studio, so at first I didn’t even want to take a picture of it. The museum staff, however, were very keen that I do it. They all simply call him King Kong; he’s a secret favourite. All together, we managed to push him two metres so that I could build up some lights around him, and spread out a white sheet behind him. It was an enormous challenge. I was standing in a tiny room with the animal really close up to me; but we managed. Using a normal lens he fit precisely into the frame. The stuffed ape dated from 1920. I was fascinated by the way he had been prepared and arranged. His pose appeared very human-like; normally a gorilla would never hold on to a branch like that. The truth is, however, that the King Kong appearing in the 1930s film often stood in the same position. May be, at the time it was considered very masculine. I added a crown of flowers to my ape to give him a fairytale-like look. Now he looks like a hiker in the forest.”

Further images and information on Ekaterina Sevrouk’s Last Paradise series can be found in LFI 5/2018, which has just appeared.

Camera: Leica S
© Ekaterina Sevrouk
© Bernhard Müller

Ekaterina Sevrouk

Ekaterina Sevrouk was born in Moscow in 1975, and is a child of art. Her love of painting is always reflected in her photographic work. She studied at the Neue Schule für Fotografie Berlin, and was a 2017 Leica Oskar Barnack Award finalist for her series, I Came As A Stranger.

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