Exhibitions Guided tour

CURATOR GUIDED TOUR ZEICHEN AM BERG

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Curator's tour through the exhibition Zeichen am Berg 24.02.2024, 11:00 - 12:00 am LUMEN. Museum of Mountain Photography, Kronplatz, Bruneck, South Tyrol The event will be held in German. Participation only with registration. Registration is also required for the cable car. Registration deadline: 23.02.2024, 15:00 (after this date, registrations can only be accepted for participation in the curator's tour, NOT for the cable car) When thinking of signs on the mountains, most of us probably immediately picture summit crosses, rock cairns (known in South Tyrolean dialect as “Stoanmandln”), or the characteristic red and white stripes of the trail markers. They serve to express our connection with the heavens (crosses), are used for navigational purposes (cairns, markers), mark moments of discovery (flags, ice ax with pennant, hooks and carabiners), facilitate communication (fire), or convey a sense of community/tradition (Sacred Heart bonfire in Tyrol, Austria). Some signs are reminders for us to stay humble (wayside shrines) or to never forget (trenches). All across the globe, technical structures erected on the mountains such as power lines, cable cars, and avalanche defense structures are symbols of man forcing nature into submission. At a time defined by urbanization and a deepening disconnection of humanity from nature, mountainscapes have been turned into marketing instruments: Objects of art have been haphazardly scattered across the mountains to render them a more enticing destination and attract an ever-larger crowd. Some -negative- signs are an expression of “Man was here”: the accumulation of litter in the Himalayan base camps and the use of equipment such as ladders or drill hooks represent a significant departure from the origins of mountaineering and humanity’s pursuit of conquering the mountains. However, nature itself creates signs, too: more sustainable, less obtrusive, and more subtle than the signs created by us. Some mountains are symbols for whole countries: the Matterhorn makes you think of Switzerland, the Sugarloaf Mountain of Rio de Janeiro, Drei Zinnen of South Tyrol. Other mountains feature rims, walls, or rock formations that resemble human faces - some of them are now popular postcard motifs. Signs are also witnesses of a mountain’s history and origins, whether it is composed of Muschelkalk, a shell-bearing sedimentary rock, or volcanic rock. Across all continents, plants that are only found at high altitudes and thus act as biological altimeters, are signs, too: from the Alpine edelweiss to the Mount Cook buttercup in New Zealand. Last, but not least, mountain dwellers are experts in reading the signs of nature up on the mountains. Clouds, for example, are known to bring rain, storms, or Foehn winds. Sayings such as “If the Dachstein wears a hat, weather’s certainly not going to turn bad” are often-shared folk wisdoms involving mountains. Ever since photography came into existence back in 1839, photographers have been capturing all these signs. Back in the day, the reason for that was mainly because they were typical of a certain mountain or region or served as proof that someone had actually reached the summit. Modern mountain photographers including Peter Mathis or Robert Bösch capture both natural and artificially created signs as motifs representing loneliness, tranquility, or transcendency high up on the mountain. Some of them are almost invisible, brought to attention by a keen lens. Other “sign pictures” are defined by the dismay felt in the view of human abuse of nature, acting as proof that humanity is, in fact, nature’s greatest enemy. This photography exhibition—along with a small number of carefully selected objects—has been curated to represent the many facets, the vast diversity of signs on mountains all across the globe. Curators:Richard Piock and Martin Kofler A cooperation with TAP Tirol Archiv Photographi

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