WHITEOUT

Glaciers and alpine wilderness territories in the age of ecological paradigm shifts.

A photography and video project. Open end.

Transient Area, photography 2018, various dimensions, Ed. 7+1

In my interest in landscape perception as a political act I am concentrating on wilderness areas that are progresssively in a transient state. In my stalks on glaciers, their fringe areas and high alpine territories I am driven by the feeling that we are more or less no more able to experience nature and landscape without simultanously beeing aware of their egological problems, which means that picturing landscape is – like always – a historic process.

As soon as we enter alpine areas, the fact of the melting and fading of glaciers through climate change is part of our perception, as well as the dissolution of permafrost and an obvious increase of erosion achtivities, such as debris flows, landslides, rockfalls, windfalls, rolled lumber…
I am questioning myself how these undeniable facts of contemporary ecologic transformations are influencing the panoramatic viewing regimes, which themselves are still influenced by the German romanticism on one hand and the media evoked affirmative image of an untouched consumable wilderness on the other hand.
My vision, my vistas on the modulations and fragments of these fringe areas are directed and supervised by a strong scepticism against these romantic, imperialistic and commercialized ideology, which is so dominant in the contemporary media representation of nature. Especially in the industry of alpine extreme sports and fun sports there is some kind of renunciation en vogue: the coordinate system of the consumed sportive activity should not be affected by concerns, worries or critical reflexions.

There is some kind of tension between romantic clichés and economic realities in areas, where the dominant economies are basically tourism, agriculture and forestry and this tension is generating the character of the pictures representing these landscapes. What is to be sold is a certain “alpine lifestyle feeling” matched by a certain propagated “nativeness”. My view is guided by a fundamental skepticism against such ideals and “Leitmotifs”, it is focused on fragmented modulations of a scenery, which is caught in a hybrid state between cultural and wilderness space and underlaying a transformation provoked by climate change.