Glaciers and alpine wilderness territories in the age of ecological paradigm shifts.
A photography and video project.
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.
Fields of action of my photographic and cinematic work have been the glacier regions and high alpine topographies affected optically and factually by climate change and other ecological transition processes for the last five years.
In my long-term project WHITEOUT, I visit a certain selection of glaciers, snow, rock and ice zones, mainly in the Eastern Alps, to create images of the mountains as paradigmatic modulations of the topographies, which are indicative of a change in wilderness and landscape.
Particularly in the glacier zones, as well as in remote alpine areas, landscape formations that are basically considered wilderness, a form of change is taking place primarily due to global warming, the perception of which shows a paradigm shift. And that in the sense of a change in the assessment of the mountain as an idealized, indestructible, static size towards a fragile connection of matter, accompanied by increasing discomfort in view of visible decay processes.
In regions that mainly live from tourism, forestry and agriculture, clichés and romantic expectations meet economically motivated realities and correspondingly adapted landscapes. It sells an alpine lifestyle combined with a propagated originality.
My gaze is guided by a fundamental skepticism towards such ideal images and leitmotifs, whereby I focus on fragmentary moments in a landscape that is in a hybrid state between cultural and natural space and in a process of transformation caused by global warming.