AgNO3 Histories of Science and Photography in Sweden
Landskrona museum, Landskrona
16 June 2016 – 29 February 2017 (Groupexhibition)
AgNO3: Histories of Science and Photography in Sweden is about the use of photography in science and research during one century and a half; as a method, as evidence, as a scalpel, magnifying glass, mirror, and more. AgNO3, the chemical formula for silver nitrate, was used in photography right up until the digital era.
The book consists of 30 stories based on different scientific questions. For example: What a disease can look like, how an explorer charts white spots on the map, how dusty insect collections enjoy a renascence, how criminals should be pictured to be most easily recognized, how a housewife moves at the cooker, what types of cloud exist, why parachutes do not open, how to portray spruce trees or analyse the innermost structures of the brain. Text plays a significant role in AgNO3. The photographs in themselves are appropriately fascinating, but often they were taken in contexts and places that add a further dimension for the viewer. The visitor becomes acquainted not only with serious scientists in white coats but also with murderers and missionaries. Sometimes what is scientifically interesting in the pictures did not arise until our own times. For example, photographs of glaciers from the 1870s testify to the extent of today’s climate changes. Some pictures provoke laughter, others sadness. The project describes a remarkable and engaging journey, from naivety and curiosity in difficult conditions and severe hardships, to today’s controlled and ultramodern research environments. “AgNO3: Histories of Science and Photography in Sweden” is published by Landskrona Foto in connection with the exhibition of the same name, at the Landskrona Museum.