BEHIND THE MOUNTAINS
25. 8. – 2. 10. 2021
Mountains, cattle and traditional agricultural work on the one hand. Billboards, discos and excesses of drunken visitors on the other. The venue is the same: the Alps. Only six decades separate the old world from the new – and yet it is an entire era. Lois Hechenblaikner shows how his home region of Tyrol has changed. In a juxtaposition, he presents black-and-white photographs from the archive of the agricultural engineer Armin Kniely (1907-1998) and color images, which he took himself after discovering the archive. The content is different, but formally the images are grotesquely similar. Through comparison, Hechenblaikner concisely analyzes the change from an agricultural landscape to a landscape used for leisure, the loss of traditions and the individualization of society. All the original activities and situations have been completely replaced by others. Each diptych confronts the viewer with a new, bizarre, sometimes even tragicomic point, but also encourages him to think about how to work with nostalgia and the inevitable evolution of a world frantically rushing forward. By criticizing mass tourism in a specific area of the Austrian Alps, Hechenblaikner shows a regional phenomenon, but at the same time formulates a problem of general and global significance in a timeless artistic language.
Lois Hechenblaikner was born in 1958 in Alpbachtal, Tyrol. Since the mid-1990s, the central theme of his photographic work has been the observation of changes in the Tyrolean landscape and their consequences, which he translates into expressive conceptual documentary projects. www.hechenblaikner.at