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Archival Pigment Print | Formate: 137,5 cm x 110 cm (Auflage: 6 +2AP) u. 85 cm x 68 cm (Auflage: 7 +2AP)

Alpine Entertainment

A hundred and fifty years ago there was the notion that nothing in the Alps was bogus. (A mountain was a mountain, the buildings only buildings, people were people, uncorrupted, not far removed from Rousseau’s savages.) Today’s tourism industry literally puts on a show. Like, if Hannibal were crossing the Alps today, then – according to the not exactly brainy storyline – PistenBullys (grooming machines) take the place of elephants. The modern warriors are skiers, climbers and skydivers; instead of horseback riders, Skidoos cross the glacier. Flying acrobats perform in an attempt to prevent tourist migration to the south. Light effects, music, videos and pyrotechnics are plentiful: “A bed in the snow. That is how it all begins. Located almost at the top of the 20 meter high pyramid…”

It does not matter that this pyramid makes you think of Aztec’s constructions nor does it matter that an Alpha Jet is engaged in the aerial battle of Troy, while three kilometers away, an artificially induced avalanche thunders to the valley:

“A blizzard-like chaos of people and machines, excitingly staged, deafening, is the preliminary climax of the production, before Hannibal – who in real life killed himself with poison – hanging upside down on a thin rope from a helicopter disappears quietly from the swirling snowdust. “An unholy mixture of dissimilar metaphors! But what does it matter, where noise and lights reign, there is no lack of alcohol.

Tourism managers are constantly forced to reinvent their markets at ever shorter time intervals: offering exciting experiences, fun and always new kicks. “Stunning projects to revitalize the Alps, the largest amusement park in the world, attractions in borderline areas, electromagnets” are necessary.

By using very long exposure times Hechenblaikner makes visible what otherwise remains invisible due to the fast imaging sequences of the production, which is, the absurdity of the whole spectacle.

Dr. Bernhard Kathan

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