Human Displays with Jordan Daniels
Location: Old Los Angeles Zoo
Date and Time: November 19, 2017 between 3-5 p.m.
Jordan and I trekked out to the Old Los Angeles Zoo with one mission in sight: play with our surroundings and capture Jordan in different looks. We were taken back by the hoards of people with cameras around their necks and tight grips on light reflectors with a seemingly similar goal in mind. Clearly, finding a shooting location that wasn't crowded would be an even bigger mission.
As we scouted for locations, we were surrounded by eruptions of giggles from people climbing through torn fences and weaving through abandoned chambers that once held zoo animals. I watched as hands disappeared following paths of scattered graffiti inside the chambers. A smirk escaped onto my own face thinking of how there were still restless animals navigating every inch of the habitat, who released a series of grunts and incoherent sounds in their explorations. The fur they donned had exotic origins from lands like Forever 21, Banana Republic, and Abercrombie. Maybe Ross. This species was its own handler who dictated feeding time as a short drive away to the nearest In-N-Out whenever they pleased.
Without realizing it, our photoshoot would tap into the same ideas of being on display for the public gaze. Whether that public gaze be from the hikers passing by us, friends and strangers from the Internet, or a version of ourselves who would later dissect the photos as a model and photographer. The shoot was still by us and for us. But also for a public filled with faces we'll meet briefly and forget what they looked like with the passing days and new crowds that take their place.