|Seeing the Mountains
and Seeing the Clouds
Visus Signatus drawings
on the Furka Passs*
Mountains contain and conceal. Their vast mass towers up before us, blocking the view of what lies behind. Mountains raise the horizon far upwards, denying any prospect of a distant view of the sky. The act of seeing collides with the rock face and feels its way along the uptilted landscape. The longer I look at the mountains the more it becomes clear that the purportedly uncompromising visibility of the mountains in fact harbours invisibility and inaccessibility. Their impressive altitude arises from an unfathomable depth, their presence issues from transience, their hardness is brittle, their eternity shows cracks. Mountains are near and far at once, a quality they share with the highly volatile clouds. In a more immediate manner than the mountains the very presence of clouds already portends their absence. Clouds emerge from complex, immeasurably distant processes. Without notable exertion I can walk into a cloud of mist drifting low across the land, yet even in its closeness the cloud remains intangibly remote. Thus although different, mountains and clouds have fundamental similarities.
Ill. I: Seeing the mountains, Galenstock, Grosses Bielenhorn, Hannibal, Kamel and Kleines Bielenhorn, graphite, 69 x 99 cm, 16 August 2018
For more information about Gerhard Lang's Visus Signatus drawings:
Translation: Matthew Partridge