Entre chien et loup is common expression used nowadays in the French language, which has existed since the 7th century in the Latin form infra horam vespertinam, inter canem et lupum; it draws that moment in the day when the light declines and we may not be able to distinguish a dog from a wolf. This image triggered my imagination and my fascination for the structures of knowledge; the resulting series comes from the desire to re-discuss the ways in which we create the cultural memory of the Mountain. For doing that I confronted myself, rather than with a single stereotyped image, with the multiple stereotypes of the image of the mountain.
The first stereotype questioned was suggested by the title of the exhibition for which the work was made: What a Fantastic World Here! A Contemporary Gaze at the Museomontagna Archives. This sentence represents Heidi's bucolic stereotype of the mountain, which however soon reveals itself in contrast with the multitude of others.
I would define Entre chien et loup as a stratification of different experiences, where I built a sort of path of entrances, windows, metaphorical peepholes, which gradually led the viewer from one stereotype to another. The images and the installation of the work force us to move in an exploratory way through misunderstandings, confirmations and epiphanies, weaving a web of relationships between disciplines and ways of looking, at times inverting and confusing the roles between archive and landscape, construction and artifact, scientific and imaginary.
Furthermore, Entre chien et loup is a project animated by a question about the images through which we construct our idea of the mountain, which is not a mountain in itself but is a symbol of something extremely stereotyped. To address the question, I wanted not only to work in the archive of the Mountain Museum, but also to choose a place where to go. Through a peregrination of research I identified Mount Cervino as an incubator of almost all the stereotypes I had discovered. The Matterhorn has become a mountain symbol of all mountains as, ironically, is confirmed by the large number of mountains around the world called “the Cervino of…”.
The curator Giangavino Pazzola writes: "Passing from archive pictures to superimposed meanings, her work speaks of a breakdown in knowledge, a perceptive catastrophe, that is reflected in the dispersal of certainties”.
My aim was to explore the Mountains with a gaze as open as possible in order to introduce themes and elements to the contemporary discussion on the mountain; themes which often are taboo in many contexts: the ascension, the fall, the game, the death, the bucolic, the depopulation, the heroes.. “The inside and the outside, the true and the false, the artificial and the natural, the vernacular and the scientific, the cultural and the popular, and the real and the pretence are then discussed again and resignified in a single environmental installation that seems as mocking as it is subtle. Mixing all the material types, it redefines an undeclared geography inhabited by a new (and perhaps highly unlikely) ethnography, telling us of a world as fantastic as it is ambiguous, one that we have probably visited but that now seems different.”
Entre chien et loup is a body of work made of interferences, aimed at undermining our, my, certainties regarding a landscape so iconic that it has almost become an image of itself.