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Hominid Movie Houses

Primate Cinema Helps Us to Understand Chimps and Enjoy a Laugh Simultaneously

— October 4, 2011 — Eco
In an attempt to better understand our closest genealogical relative (and perhaps amuse ourselves in the meantime), Primate Cinema has opened to the eager eyes and ears of both common chimpanzees and Edinburgher audience members.

The exhibition, entitled Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, is the brain child of Rachel Mayeri and ostensibly the first inter-species entertainment. The installation involves placing television screens into the chimp conservatory of the Edinburgh Zoo, which is already loaded with one-way mirrors. Once the hominid residents have gathered around the TVs, zoo curators begin airing a specially made film that follows a female chimpanzee struggling with idea like territory, sex, status and food. The installation tells two astounding stories: one of humans filming a movie for chimpanzees and the other told by the subsequent chimps' reactions to the film.

Although you may have missed the exhibition in Edinburgh, Primate Cinema will appear as a solo installation in London's Arts Catalyst from October 19 to November 13, 2011. Come check it out!
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