Tania and David Willen & Jörg Schelle
In Appetite for the Magnificent, the Swiss duo photographer David Willen (b. 1967, Bern) and picture editor Tania Willen (b. 1968, Bern), render the pictorial and aesthetic dimension of aquariums. Their subjects, taken from Swiss zoos and public and private labs where “aquascapers” designed animal-vegetable-mineral gardens of aqueous delights, float between the poles of reality and virtuality, presence and absence, the animate and inanimate. Only 23 color images are featured in this slender publication, however the Willens’ lush frontal photographs leave the viewer content staring into the small aquatic mysteries for hours. The accompanying essay on Philip Henry Gosse (1810–1888), by art theorist and historian Jörg Scheller, retraces the evolution of the aquarium at the interface of art, science and religion. Gosse was an artistic illustrator, self-taught scientist and devout evangelical whose life and thought are reflected in the underlying principles of the aquarium: the aestheticization of nature and the systematic observation and exploration of marine life.
7 x 10 ½ in. / 128 pp / 23 color
Retail Price: $45.00