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Itinera Alpina

Publication (2013)

Itinera alpina is a travel journal, a research document and an impressionistic scrapbook. It is the outcome of a trip to the Swiss Alps taken by the authors in search of the geographical sources for a selection of enduring Alpine images – images both visual and literary. Their journey took them, as often as not, to closed doors and the ends of roads. The book is a reflection on the generative potential of incomprehension, on wonder, and on the desire to grasp the ungraspable.

Five locations provide the settings for their research: the sanatorium that inspired Thomas Mann to write his novel The Magic Mountain; an Alpine pass depicted in one of J.M.W. Turner’s most famous paintings; the mountain climbed by the 18th-century scientist-explorer Horace-Bénédict de Saussure; the supposedly magical cave near the home of 20th-century healer and artist Emma Kunz; and the remote peace monument, Paxmal, built between the wars by designer Karl Bickel.

Made in collaboration with Jonathan Griffin.