‘Who are we to feel superior to animals and nature and how can we look ourselves straight into the eyes when we completely destroy our ecosystem?’
Homo sapiens master and lord in the Animal Kingdom?
Is it mankind who is the boss or the animal? Are we as homo sapiens master and lord in the Animal Kingdom or subordinate? Whatever the answer is, human beings help destroy ecosystems. With these images, Flore Zoé wishes to let the viewer reflect on how we treat animals and nature. In days past, giant animals like the dinosaurs were the absolute ruler on Earth. Long after their extinction homo sapiens evolved into an ecological serial killer: he killed more or less half of all the large animals on this planet, long before the invention of the wheel, alphabetic writing and Iron tools, as is to be read in the book Homo Sapiens of Yuval Noah Harari that inspired Flore Zoé for ANTS.
Animalistic ingenuity of the horseshoe crab
In addition to the Starfish, the horseshoe crab plays a major role in the series. This living fossil has survived on earth for more than 300 million years. Flore Zoé chose this particular animal because of its impressive appearance, its unprecedented history and that fact that this super-survivor is being abused by humans because of its beneficial blue blood. The arthropod animal is caught en masse, receives a vice in its shield to drain the blood and is then returned to the sea. Statistics show that one in five animals succumbs to this. Like all other photographed animals, the horseshoe crab from ANTS died from natural causes and was prepared through taxidermy by official, licenced preparers. ANTS is a tribute to the animal world and ants in particular
De title ANTS did not pop up just like that and is in fact a tribute to these tiny insects. A few years ago Flore Zoé was sitting on her knees with her children looking at the marching ants and realised how fascinating these little animals are. With their own rules and a complete household including grades and positions. She dove into the world of ants and insects and realised that she herself would want each animal to live, no matter how tiny.