Wesley Meuris

Wesley Meuris

Work from his oeuvre.

“Beginning with an interest in the interaction between architecture and human conditioned-behaviour, I became intrigued by the conditions that coalesced around the making of cages for animals. The implicit requisite is, of course, that the cages be ‘liveable’ with respect to a particular animal, so that it may survive outside its usual habitat. But more important still in the construction of such cages, is the comfort that we (viewers) generally experience when we look at animals in captivity, most often in zoos. I consider the zoo as a control-domain in terms of the viewers vis-à-vis the observed animals, but the viewing public too is led into a controlled architecture.

Taking this as starting-point, I proceed to put together a system of zoological classification and so determine which cage is suitable for which animal. This classification is founded on my visual experience. Each cage that I design is coded according to the following criteria:

* the nature/species of the animal
* specifications of the cage: size, %water, type of ground structure,…
* atmospheric conditions: temperature, humidity, air movement,…
* feeding and care
* relationship between cage and public

The artificial habitat is created according to elementary principles: enclosure, inclination, door openings, water parts, steps, slopes and private spaces – these with tiles, metals, sand and glass. Architecturally, a consensus is sought in the relationship between the animal, the cage and the viewer.” – Wesley Meuris

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