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ARTIST BIO

Alice Cazenave (b.1990) is a photographic artist and doctoral researcher. Her work in analogue photography is informed by her background in molecular science. Created using hand-mixed, plant-based chemistries, Cazenave's work reimagines futures of analogue photography that move away from its toxic history.​

Cazenave’s (AHRC) PhD examines the afterlives of photographic metals and chemistries, and how these change people's lives and ecologies. As part of this, she explores the photographic potential of plants by printing onto them. Cazenave innovated the use of pelargonium printing, a photographic process that uses living leaves as photographic paper. This early work inspired her later interest in making chemistry from plants to print with in the darkroom.

 

Cazenave is the Executive Director at the Sustainable Darkroom, a not-for-profit organisation researching lower-toxicity photographic methods. As part of her work with the Sustainable Darkroom, she is the 2024 artist-in-residence at Hong Kong International Photo Festival.
 
Cazenave has exhibited internationally, and has been published in The British Journal of Photography and New York Times, as well as PLANT: Exploring the Botanical World, Phaidon Press.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

My practice examines the complex and often forgotten relationships between photographic materials and the Anthropocene. I research the metals and minerals that comprise analogue images. Silver coats photographic film and generates images by being struck by light. It is this essential metal that makes film photography possible. I am interested in how ecologies enable photography through providing silver, and how they absorb photographic waste and pollution.

 

I devise and use plant-based photographic chemistries that are lower-toxicity. In my practice, I also generate photographs inside living leaves. Through these methods, I explore the agencies of ecologies by engaging with them visually, materially, and chemically. I examine links between ecologies, photographic materials, and the future worlds that are being built around us.

 

I am interested in what film photography means to people. I am currently generating an alternative archive of photography’s history – one that foregrounds links between photographic silver, ecologies, and people.

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SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2024

MINE: What Is Ours In The Wake of Extraction?

University of Delaware, U.S.A

Living Image

Halide Project, Philidelphia, U.S.A

FORAGE

The Cass Gallery, Buffalo, U.S.A

Opaque Shattering Truth Awakens

Pointsman, Hong Kong

London Art Fair: Modern and Contemporary Art Fair

London, U.K

2023

 

Climate & Art: Alternative Approaches

Chappe Art Museum, Ekenäs, Finland

Spontaneous Fermentation

SET, London, U.K

Beyond Silver

Hive Gallery, Birmingham, U.K

 

2022

ÖRES summer exhibition

Öro island, Finland

2021

Fabric of Photography: Material Matters

Photo Oxford, U.K

WHAT ON EARTH 

Koppel, Piccadilly, London, U.K

2020

TERRA NEXUS

Proposition, London, U.K

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RESEARCH

Cazenave is a practice-bsed PhD candidate in visual anthropology. She was awarded the competitive CHASE Arts and Humanities Research Council scholarship for her research into the precious metals used in analogue photography. 

 

Cazenave's research engages with photographic silver. She traces this metal from its extraction to processing into photographic paper and film. Through long-term engagement with Kodak engineers, ecologists, Haudenosaunee peoples, photographers, and communities living in extracted landscapes, Cazenave explores the histories of photographic silver, and the ecologies and lives that are touched by it.

She is pleased to be the visiting scholar at R.I.T, Rochester, New York. She is engaging with graduate students to design a Photographic Garden which explores the the roles of plants in de-contaminating Kodak-polluted spaces. This will be the first of its kind in the United States.

Cazenave was the part of the 2023 TRACTS Fellowship at Leiden University, Netherlands. She has presented research at DeMontfort University's 2023 conference and looks forward to presenting  at the 2024 European Association  of Social Anthropologists in Barcelona.  

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