Appetite for the Magnificent is a photographic and essayistic exploration of the history and present-day world of the aquarium. David and Tania Willen focus their lenses on the pictorial, aesthetic dimension of present-day aquariums in Swiss zoos and Switzerland’s high-end aquarium scene: public and private labs in which “aquascapers” design animal-vegetable-mineral gardens of aqueous delights. These moving-picture aquascapes float between the poles of reality and virtuality, presence and absence, the animate and inanimate world. In the Willens’ photographs, all shot from the front, the fish seem suspended in mid-air, an effect that brings to the fore the virtual side of the aquarium: it is nothing short of a precursor to the television set. In his essay on the co-founder and popularizer of aquaristics Philip Henry Gosse (1810 –1888), Jörg Scheller retraces the evolution of the aquarium at the interface between art, science and religion. Published by Edition Patrick Frey (Zurich).
128 pages, 27 x 18cm, softcover, Edition Patrick Frey (Zurich).