Jon Erwin Staeheli
Pages: 72 / photos: 65
Size: 270×260×15mm / hardcover
Release Date: August 2015
Through the mist an alien world emerges. A strange landscape shines through the haze of rain and intrudes into our remote familiar world. All of a sudden our familiar world seems to be like paradise: cosy and protective. That's what we are longing for. We want to go home. But here we stand in the rain and mist. We are soaked and chilled.
Landscapes have been arranged by human beings according to their own needs. Now the rain, the mist and the twilight become the new controllers of these landscapes. The choreography is wild and full of surprises, even intimidating. It makes us question the purpose of shaping the landscape. The choreography gives it a completely new meaning:
Freedom instead of submission
Wildness instead of control
Chaos instead of order
Beauty instead of aesthetics
Sometimes in forests and fields I feel like a wanderer who is offered a theatrical performance. This presentation is certainly not performed for me personally. I sense that the play happens out of pure serendipity and is not influenced on whether I take pleasure in it or whether I turn away with indifference. Also I have to accept the possibility that the drama could be a trick of my own imagination.
Alternatively: I understand nothing at all, see nothing, recognize nothing but am simply distracted by the appealing promises of civilization. I notice only later, much later, in the dim pictures of my memory, what I have overlooked. Nostalgia overcomes me.
Then it can be reassuring to recognize that in the great scheme of things I am myself but a temporary shadow. Suddenly everything around me starts to grow, becomes real, beautiful and self-sustaining. I can let go of my feelings of responsibility towards the happenings of nature: they don’t need my protection, only respect. These things have survived the flood and, in some mysterious way, they might guide me. Is this a new awareness? Am I late? The images are fleeting and though I cannot afford to exist through images and memories alone, occasionally, it is good to meet the lightness and carefreeness of another world. I need to explore nature’s labyrinth to allow me, for a brief moment, to let go of yesterday and tomorrow.
(Excerpts from the author's afterword)