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Anouk Tschanz has been employing analog black and white photography as a means of artistic expression for many years. The possibility of influencing the captured images during film development and enlargement in the darkroom plays a decisive role for her. She produces hand prints in elaborate processes, whereby photographic series are created as by-products from various examination steps. While investigating red light filtering in the darkroom, Tschanz came across the term “actinism,” which measures the photochemical effectiveness of light radiation on photosensitive surfaces—and which lends the publication its title.


In the series Blätter (Leaves, 2019–ongoing), Tschanz photographed each leaf where it grows or is cultivated: at the roadside in the cities where she has lived, while traveling through Europe, or in remote meadows in the Alps. Depending on the subject, she uses an analog 35mm camera or a medium or large-format camera. The different shapes of the leaves can also be understood as a study of biodiversity, climate and weather influences. At the same time, the artist is interested in the processes of image-making, surfaces, materiality, light, and depth. Tschanz’s photographs are the opposite of schematic images. She is not only interested in taxonomies, but also in analogies: What do the leaves remind us of, and how can relationships be established through these similarities?

In the publication ACTINISM, the image format deviates little or not at all from the original size of the prints. As a result, the viewer is very close to the image. Light-dark contrasts and gray tones of the baryta paper can be seen in all their nuances. The leaves are either on a single page or partially juxtaposed. The result is a condensation in which the leaves come together in their multifaceted essence, manifesting the artist’s intention to show the motifs as subjects.


The publication is accompanied by a text by Chus Martínez, art historian, museum director and head of the IAGN institution / head of the Fine Arts course at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland.


Published on the occasion of the exhibition Actinism at Camera Austria, Graz, from June 7 to August 18, 2024. Supported by Stiftung Erna and Curt Burgauer, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Kanton Zürich, Stadt Zürich and Pro Helvetia.


Anouk Tschanz


Chus Martínez


Anne Stock


235 × 330 mm

112 pages



CHF 32.00