The mountain (2018)

Can Serrat, El Bruc

The aim of this project, conducted at the foothills of Montserrat, Catalonia, was initially to engage in a reversed production process: To, somehow, engage in a vain effort to erase the material traces of man. Because humans make and accumulate stuff. A lot of stuff. Sometimes, it turns up in unlikely places, such as plastics in the stomachs of Lysan albatrosses. While landfills on earth turn into a new geological stratum, the stuff has reached space as man-made debris orbit around Earth: Chunks of metal from spacecrafts and satellites, abandoned launch vehicle stages and fragmentation debris. The area of Montserrat is, indeed, marked by human traces such as plastic bottles, beer cans, wrappings and various trinkets of uncertain origin.

 

It soon became obvious, however, that the area of Montserrat is about nothing but disappearances. Not only of everyday things, such as glasses or wallets, but also of hikers and tourists getting lost in the mountain (or, allegedly, being abducted by alien forces); of fading knowledge about herbs and plants; of blurred myths and legends about the mountain; of nightly intruders who showed up from nowhere and disappeared just as sudden; of the lost sense of time while climbing the mountain. Of the mountain itself, that slowly erodes.

 

Thus, the project changed its course. Instead of actively trying to make things disappear, I started to explore these disappearances: Of memories, beliefs and people; of a huge mountain, 40 billion years old, composed of pebbles and boulders, stories and myths.

1973-1998. And then they turned into spirits (2018)

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The intruders (2018)

The intruder (2018)

© 2015 by Anna-Maria Hällgren