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Crossover: Photography of Science + Science of Photography on view at Fotomuseum Winterthur
Markus Krottendorfer, Untitled, 2013. From Biosphere 2. Slide show© Markus Krottendorfer / Pro Litteris, Zürich.

ZURICH.- Scientific images are fascinating, because they reveal things and processes that remain hidden to the human eye. It has become possible to delve ever deeper into micro- and macrocosms and capture these worlds in images. In science does photography primarily serve as the visual aid of the researcher, or does is play a much larger role? Since the invention of photography in the 1830s new demands have been placed on the capacities of the medium as a result of developing scientific practices, which have led to the continuous fine-tuning of the possibilities of the photograph. Science thus produces images based on ut-terly different premises than those of documentary, advertising, or artistic photography. What defines the delicate relationship between photography and science? What photographs result, and how can they be interpreted?

The exhibition takes a five-part look at the role that photography has assumed as a visual explorer in science. The chapter Einblick / Insight offers a view of the microcosm, including images ranging from X-ray photographs to microscopic photographs, to those from cloud chambers. Ausblick / Outlook addresses the exploration and mapping of the macrocosm, the distant and the foreign with images from NASA or ethno-logical expeditions. Attempts to establish orders of classification and analysis are examined in the section Durchblick / Overview, which includes high-speed photographs and medical photographs. Selbstblick / Self-Examination deals with how science represents itself through the use of photography as well as the “theater of the sciences.” Finally, in Reflektierendem Blick / Self-Reflection the experimental setup of the exhibition is inverted in the investigation of the functional modes of photography.

The cooperative relationship between photography and scientific disciplines is explored in Cross Over in the context of its own history. Historical images dating from the 19th and early 20th century bear witness to the first photographic reforms introduced in various fields of research; later examples demonstrate how visualization strategies have developed further. These images are complemented by 16 contemporary artistic positions, which hold a mirror to scientific methods and materials. They interrogate laboratory worlds as well as image-generating processes through works of photography and video. The image as proof, documentary aid, measuring instrument, and artistic reflection suggests multiple references, which serve as means for investigating the medium of photography and tracing its boundaries.

With works by Anna Atkins, Auguste-Adolphe Bertsch, Hans Danuser, Liz Deschenes, Marion Denis, Harold Edgerton, Léon Foucault, Thomas Freiler, Bernhard Gardi, Raphael Hefti, Jules Janssen, Irène Joliot-Curie, Markus Krottendorfer, Albert Londe, Aïm Deüelle Lüski, Maschinensehen (Henning Arnecke, Lisa Bergmann, Christoph Oeschger, Elke Reinhuber), Melanie Matthieu, Aurélie Pétrel, Rodolphe Archibald Reiss, Hannes Rickli, Thomas Ruff, Adrian Sauer, Laurent Schmid, Sarah Schönfeld, and Simon Starling, among others.

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