The Swiss Alps are more than 40% of the country's territory and they are the mountains most "used" in the world even if only 10% of the Swiss population lives on them. Statistically, half of the country is located 1080 m above sea level.
From the eighteenth century onwards Switzerland is known as "the land of landscapes par excellence".
The idea of landscape is an "invention", a "creation" of the inhabitants of the cities, a consequence of the fundamental changes in culture and society.
The change, as has been done in Europe in the late seventeenth century, towards the end of the Little Ice Age, with changes in economy, technology and culture Manifests even today but in a much broader way.
Beside climate change, it is, above all, the digital revolution changing the numerous social processes: Migratory movements, Structures of employment, of work, of activity, Of purpose, Forms of perception and EXPERIENCE and, generally, values as a concept.
These processes also touch the alpine region and so comes the questionS:
- What idea of the landscape do we connect today with the Alpine region?
- the Alps have always been an obstacle for the traffic: a vertical needle which is to be eliminated as we see if we take the example of the Gotthard.
- the Alpine region became insignificant FOR NUTRITION: the use of forests and territory by agriculture decreases more every day and in doing so leaves room for nature to recover the territory and, with the climate change, glaciers disappear.
The Alps as a "playground of Europe", as they were created in the nineteenth century, changed radically: tourism descreases significantly, the values of the new economy leave little room for a sustainable employment and the Alps also lose the significance and the importance for national identity.
But there are also movements, which indicate, that there is a growing interest in searching new forms, new ways, new bridges, new relationships with nature: in economy, ecology, in architecture and art and questions as the following are imminent :
- How can you survive in the alpine areas in these changing economic oriented times?
- What genuine values remain essential in the Alpine area?
- Should the Alps remain a nostalgic space where nature reigns unmolested? or they should be seen as an openair laboratory? Or should they be seen as a set design, décor, as background for self staging of visitors, tourists and explorers?
- It is possible that the Alps become a new space, livable and oriented towards the future?
- What are the needs of the contemporary society and which are its requests from the Alpine region in the future?
- DO WE NEED NEW IDEAS WHICH NO LONGER HAVE AS A BASIS THE DICHOTOMY NATURE - CULTURE .
These are the questions that the artistic project of the Swiss Alpine Club makes and which seeks answers with artistic means: Staging , Artistic projects and reflections through the Alpine region in Switzerland.
With the title Crystallization we define the process of single out, pinpoint and condense a thematic and in doing so we draw new perspectives.
Instagram (and other social medias) will be a mirror in which to observe these issues and where we will present stories and past and future changes in the Alpine region. We want to focalize on different art projects that we are preparing for 2018 in collaboration with the Swiss Alpine Club ( SAC ) and other institutions.
JEAN ODERMATT, PROJECT DIRECTOR