Alpine View - Melting Snow
Since the early 16th century up to now the visual representation of landscapes, real or imaginary, play an important role in the occidental arts. Until recently photographs showed an unambiguously and immediate illustration of landscapes. But during my many hikes in the Alps I got fascinated with certain details of the landscapes before me, the strange sculptures formed by melting snow, long blue shadows cast by mountains on late afternoons, with clouds clued to rock faces after a storm, the interaction of grassy patches with rocks, fog enveloping a slope or early snow highlighting every detail of a forest.
I asked myself, if shown in detail, does landscape get another significance? Does the relation to their surrounding change? If one cuts out a detail of a landscape will it lead into abstraction so pictures can be more liquid, painterly and ephemeral? But most of all, could this abstraction transport a personal artistic, political or sociocultural issue?
This is how I started my series Alpine Views. A work that could be made anywhere, but I chose the Alps as it is the area I live in and know best and therefor can visually share my deep concerns about the rapid changes I observe: loss of silence, the arrogance of extreme structural interventions, the disappearance of cultural areas, ghostly villages out of touristic seasons, extreme retreat of glaciers and permafrost and nature only used as a stage for self-presentation.
Of course there was always human intervention into nature and the idea of an 'intact' nature or untouched landscape is unreal. But the fact that Hyper-capitalism's intervention has accelerated this development and the impact of climate change to the extreme can not be dismissed. The year 2020 has revealed many of these interventions as pointless and futile.
The yearly melting away of the snow cover leaving bizarre white spots in the landscape, seem to be suitable symbols for my questions and issues. White spots as burnouts, synonyms of emptiness, as a questions what lies hidden beneath and where the man fueled climate change will lead us to, but most of all as an unnoticed symbol of silence and loss.
And, as in all of my series I am carried by my all-time intention to immerse into my chosen subjects, to give objects a type of subjectivity, increasing their status with an autonomous materiality, form, and line and by trying this, set them into a new context.
This part of my series is currently exhibited in a museum show under the title 'We don't want Nature' in Kunsthaus Muerz, Austria until August 22nd.