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Scheduled to be inaugurated on June 23rd, 2018 - the day of the 268th anniversary of the birth of a Father of the Dolomites, Dieudonné Sylvain Guy Tancrède de Gratet de Dolomieu usually known as Déodat de Dolomieu, French geologist who in 1792 discovered a calcareous rock which would be named after him along with the grandiose mountain range of northeastern Italy - the 6th edition of the Biennale Gherdëina is a venture into the polymorphous nature of the mountains and their language.

Conducted under a desire of WRITING THE MOUNTAINS, the exhibition combines liminal disciplines of cultural geology, communal ecology, performative science and relational practice of engaged aesthetics, challenging conventional forms of representation and perception as in a reference to the vocabulary of nature, landscape and a community. It is a polylogue; it foregrounds collaborative and participatory modes of working, mingling polyphonic forms, from performance, including dance and singing, poetry and spoken word, through architecture and design, staging and display, down to the ephemeral forms, focused on communal spirit, engagement, and collectivity, notwithstanding research and in situfieldwork. As such, WRITING THE MOUNTAINSis a poetic proposition; here, in what may be considered an act of learning from the mountains, (the language of) poetry is a score for a collection of artistic utterances that celebrate the site and its sublime intensity. Poetic narrative Überwasserby Alessandro De Francesco, commissioned for the Biennale is a manifesto of an “intimate immensity” of the Dolomites: a series of sensual tableaux that along with a lexicon of the nature’s elemental language provide a prototype for WRITING THE MOUNTAINS multiple scenarios. 

Thus as a sequel to the previous edition of the biennale which focused on the rhetoric of longing, WRITING THE MOUNTAINSsearches for the patterns of belonging, identification and cohabitation. It pays an homage to the mountains and the community which inhabits them, reflecting the endurance and resilience, so typical for this site and its people, praising the mountains as a site of awe and intimacy, emancipation and resistance. The exhibition considers the biotope of the mountains as a ritual in flux, archetypal and ever changing, redrafted and transcribed, over and over anew, both mystical and real, simultaneously sublime and mundane, an articulation of a desire, woven of legends, myths and everyday dreams.


Adam Budak