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Chiara - a Journey into Light

Chiara - a Journey into Light

By (author) Elizabeth Zahnd
By (author) Ulrich Look


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  • A unique work of art about the illness and death of a child
  • An essay reflects on illness, dying and death and our related fears and emotions
  • Consists entirely of previously unpublished material
Full Description

This is an artist’s book on illness and dying. Elisabeth Zahnd, artist and photographer, had to experience and bear the fatal illness and death of her child, who was diagnosed of an incurable brain tumour at the age of five. Zahnd soon started not only to accompany as a caring mother the child’s long ordeal, but also to document as an artist the transition and transfiguration of this young human being. She never exploits the child’s suffering for her artistic project, though. Even in close-up she keeps a distance and the child’s privacy. Two essays accompany the images. One is on the artistic and art historical context of Elisabeth Zahnd’s portraits of Chiara. The second, philosophical-ethical text is about illness, dying and death and the our related fears and emotions. Created out of personal affection, this photographic essay reaches beyond an individual destiny. Its images touch on the question of how we deal with suffering and death. But they are also about life, warmth and security, and love. The book also aims at helping to take away the taboo from these important issues concerning everyone. Text in English and German.

About the Author

Elisabeth Zahnd, born 1957, trained as a photographer in Berne (Switzerland) and did further education in video-filming at the school of art and design in Berne. Her oeuvre including photography, video art and installations has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland. She lives and works as an artist and architectural photographer in Berne and Salvador de Bahia (Brazil).

Scheidegger & Spiess
2nd Jun 2009
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
275 mm x 214 mm
152 Pages
37 color, 22 b&w
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