The camera was Andreas Züst’s constant companion. On walks through the countryside by day or through the city by night, he kept a photographic diary on black-and-white film with his trusty Pentax, making notes about each of the subjects and events in his almanacs. The first almanac, covering the years 1978 – 1983, is the basis of his latest book Menschen Tiere Abenteuer (“People Animals Andventures”).
His observations of visual phenomena, social ties and contemporary events, presented in chronological order, range widely from Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse and nocturnal street scenes to patterns in ice and portraits of the artist Anton Bruhin and Züst’s own family. This chronological perspective may well be the most revealing approach to the artist and his rather melancholy work.
And yet he clearly takes an interest in the medium itself - in his attempts to capture on film the very act of taking pictures, in his double exposures and in his eye for the photography of everyday life. To capture all of this, Züst sometimes used Agfa Ortho 25, a black-and-white film with an aesthetic all its own.
This painstakingly researched publication also gives a compact sense of Züst’s overall work in that all the motifs from his color series are represented closely together in the black-and-whites here (some of those series have already been worked up in his books Bekannte Bekannte 1and 2, Roundabouts, Himmel). So Menschen Tiere Abenteuer is Züst’s most personal book and the most revealing of his artistic œuvre as a whole.