On the glacier: a light-picture-book, 2003
Walter Niedermayr (Bozen/Bolzano, 1952) has investigated the concept of space as natural landscape, architectural space or urban space, and the effects of man’s taking possession of it since the mid-1980s. His attention focuses on the Alpine landscape and on mass tourism. The subject of his photography is not landscape seen from a naturalistic perspective, but rather the way in which man’s presence impacts on it and the interaction created by this. The results are mostly series of images, where the single pictures are fragments of a complex sequence.
For Meran/Merano, the artist created a sequence of large-format photographs contained in light boxes and supplying a strong narrative. The photographs were taken at more than 3,000 m.a.s.l. on Titlis Glacier in Switzerland and capture the easy “conquest” of the peak, which is accessible by ski lift. As in other works about Alpine landscapes, space blurs because of diffuse lighting, and the location becomes almost unrecognizable due of the absence of topographical elements. The deliberate repetition of the subject creates a sense of redundancy making every location seem interchangeable. As the artist explains: “Places like the Alpine landscapes are places of projection: people project their wishes onto them and visit them with certain expectations that have to be met one by one. They are worlds intended for consumption, even though one does not know, what is to be consumed”.