Jaschinski conveys an aesthetic and ethical ambiguity, and complexity, in her images. Traditionally, we describe a subject as being "captured" in a photograph, but Jaschinski definitely doesn't want to capture animals. Her 1996 book Zoo looks at captive animals with a keenly incisive pathos: penguins and seals in harsh cement ponds, gibbons and buffalo in cramped, sterile fenced-in compounds. The book showed her audience how traumatized and fragmented animals are when they are locked up and put on display for the spectators' convenience.
The animals in Zoo, hapless victims of our voyeurism, are painfully decontexualized, while her next book, Wild Things (2003), pointedly depicts animals and habitats in conjunction with each other. To appreciate who animals are, we need to think at the same time about where they live.
For her next project, Jaschinski is planning an expedition to photograph polar bears in the Canadian Arctic. Armed with her 25-year-old camera and some black-and-white film, she will, of course, attempt to find something unique as she travels far out into the tundra in search of these animals. Her challenge will be to recount her interaction with their lives in their world, without compartmentalizing or diminishing them as a fetish of human culture.