Bronze death masks, feet and hands of 16 different birds, mammals and reptiles are chained together and mounted against a wall as one might display hunting trophies. The heavy chains evoke a sense of incarceration or subjugation. The animals died while in captivity in two American zoos. The masks preserve post-mortem expressions.
The human desire to control and dominate nature served human evolution in a world that provided seemingly endless resources. The modern zoo, after centuries of animal collections as live curiosities, has necessarily evolved to conserve and educate, slowly recognizing that conservation is self-preservation.