The Strange Poetic Beauty of Redacted Chimp

Redacted Chimps in the rain

Not exactly sure what this is, but I like it. A seemingly simple concept, Redacted Chimp is exactly that — pictures of chimpanzees with black (sometimes other colors) redaction strips covering their eyes, as if to mask their identities. Or perhaps their identities have been taken from them? Or they never existed in the first place? Or perhaps they are us, our proxy in the wild world? It’s impossible to say for sure, because interpretation is left to the viewer. But what makes this site even more interesting are the poetic fragments of narrative that are paired with each image. Here, for example, is the complete text that accompanies the image above:

Redacted Chimp 010. I love holding hands with your foot, in the rain, in the sun, in the rain. I love watching the rain careen off my hand, off your face, off the palm of my hand. There are plants in the world that nobody even knows the names of yet, that don’t even have names yet, that don’t have names. I love holding flowers in your hands, with my feet, in your rain. (Redacted Chimp 010)

A lovely image, probably triggered by the chimp in this picture holding hands with his (her?) own foot. And of course I love that it is also a musing on names.

Could the chimps be the poets here? Maybe they made this website as a way to reclaim their identities? Maybe this is the true beginning of the Planet of the Apes. Check it out, and report back here if you learn anything more.

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