The Never Taken Images

Photographic Paper Archive 1880–1990

A unique long-term project of photographic art without camera


Title Information

Edited by Daniel and Françoise Cartier. Contributions by Kathrin Schönegg and Thilo Koenig

1st edition

, 2022

Text English, German and French


244 pages, 174 color and 42 b/w illustrations

24 x 30 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-091-9


The Never Taken Images documents a unique long-term project that Swiss photographers Françoise and Daniel Cartier have been pursuing since 1998. They have put together a vast collection of unfixed photographic papers, glass negatives, and films, mostly dating from 1880 to 1990. Samples of these are mounted and displayed, and, over the course of several exhibitions, exposed to light, causing them to evolve towards color saturation. Instead of looking at still images, the Cartiers’ installations, titled Wait and See, allow viewers to perceive a kind of reality for themselves.

This book features the entire test catalog that the Cartiers have put together to date, showing some 900 different papers and photosensitive supports. These facsimiles offer an almost real impression of their formats, colors, and materiality. Essays by photo historian and curator Kathrin Schönegg and scholar of art history and critic Thilo Koenig supplement the images and place the Wait and See project in the art historical and technological context of abstract media art. The Never Taken Images also celebrates the industrially manufactured photosensitive support, representing the centrality of the long pre-digital period in the history of photography.


Daniel and Françoise Cartier, freelance photographer and visual artist respectively, form the artist duo F+D Cartier, based in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Their experimental work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions internationally, including museums and galleries such as Musée de l‘Elysée, Lausanne (Switzerland), Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi (Belgium), Museet for Fotokunst, Odense (Denmark), Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles (France), Kunstbezirk, Stuttgart (Germany), Cinema Avorio, Rome (Italy), Cornerhouse, Manchester (United Kingdom), Yossi Milo Gallery, New York (US), Houston Center for Photography (US), H Gallery, New York (US), and Minnesota Center for Photography, Minneapolis (US).


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