Pursuit of Wonders
Andreas Züst (1947–2000) was fascinated by natural phenomena his whole life long. Even as a child he would stoically take note of the weather conditions three times a day. Later on, as a student of glaciology, he spent whole months at Thule in Greenland drilling ice cores—and shooting countless slides of his research work there. The resulting corpus of photographic material explores ice in a multitude of different forms and escapes determination, ranging from endless icescapes, freshly blown bright white snow, and ice crystals on a window to a glowing blue, a polar bear peering into the camera on an ice-covered beach, and an ice-bound research base camp under the light of the full moon. The opaque blue glow of ice (best viewed as originally presented in a slide show) epitomizes the otherworldly aura of these evocative images. The story of ice and that of a glaciologist’s life and work are told separately in Pursuit of Wonders, but tied together by the prevailing atmosphere of a surreal journey through a world of ice, rounded out by contributions by the film maker Peter Mettler, who was a friend of Züst’s, cultural studies scholar Verena Kuni as well as artists Jimena Croceri and Sarina Scheidegger.