Six things we learned from Dr. Zira

Coco Fusco’s Frieze Project premieres

At Coco Fusco’s Frieze Project on Thursday night, Dr. Zira - familiar to some from Planet of the Apes (1968) - emerged from two decades of seclusion to deliver her lecture ‘Observation of Predation in Humans’. Here are six takeaways:
 
1. You never know who might come to your aid
 
After the launch of President George Bush’s “Operation Descartes” against her kind, Dr. Zira saved her son through the intervention of a “friendly circus owner”.
 
2. Most human business is carnivorous
 
Dr. Zira likens a hostile takeover bid to one animal eating another overnight, so one company wakes up “in the belly of another”.
 
3. Even apes like HBO
 
Immersed in the human “moving pictures”, Dr. Zira enjoyed among others ‘Girls’ and ‘Mad Men’ - “just about language. Imagine!”.
 

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Coco Fusco, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture (2016), for Frieze Projects at Frieze London. Courtesy: the artist and Frieze Projects

Performance documentation: Coco Fusco, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture (2016) for Frieze Projects at Frieze London. 

 
4. Balance is key
 
Aggression is not always a bad thing. "It can be essential. But so is cooperation and peace. Without altruism and empathy, no social species survives."
 

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Coco Fusco, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture (2016), for Frieze Projects at Frieze London

Performance documentation: Coco Fusco, Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture (2016) for Frieze Projects at Frieze London. 

5.
Change starts at home
 
When asked how we can do away with alpha males (a question she is asked in every country she lectures in), Dr. Zira advises first identify the alpha male within yourself and get rid of that, “before you can get rid of these outside you”.
 
6. The future is female (or run by them, at least)
 
Professor Donna Harraway assures Dr. Zira that bonobos - who use sex to resolve conflicts, practice altruism, and eschew alpha males for ‘gynecocracy’ - “are the way to go.”
 

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