The sacred mountains of Sara Bianchi in the photos on display at “Sottovento”

The photographic exhibition of a young (28 years old) and interesting artist from Pavia opens on Sunday at the Sottovento literary inn (via Siro Comi 8 in Pavia). Sara Bianchi’s exhibition, open until 18 December, already entitled, “Sacred Mountains”, reveals the non-naturalistic approach to the subject matter.

the expressive choice

The artist herself explains the meaning of this exhibition: «My “Sacred Mountains” – explains Sara Bianchi, a graduate of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts – take inspiration from the film “The Sacred Mountain” by Alejandro Jodorowsky, in an attempt, through a different medium, to connect the mountain with “psychedelia”, in the broadest sense of the term: understood, therefore, as “widening of consciousness”. We can understand the meaning of this connection by referring to the philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who attributes to nature the role of possible instrument for this “widening of consciousness”. Nature, in the American philosopher’s viewpoint, is not so much a means for attaining ideal knowledge of a higher order, but rather the ultimate object of philosophical practice, a source of well-being and an existential solution. But even contemporary examples of mountaineering show how the relationship between man and nature is as long-lived as man himself. Reinhold Messner, just to quote one of the most famous mountaineers, who has made the practice of exploration and challenge with himself and the mountain a lifestyle and existential focus while also not hiding a contemplative, introspective and mystical human side, the only way, perhaps, to face the mountain and conquer it».

the means employed

At the Sottovento tavern, 18 medium format analogue photographs will be exhibited, with double exposure technique, taken with a vintage Debonair camera loaded with Lomography and Kodak films. Sara Bianchi’s sacred mountains (Mount Ebro, Mount Lesima, Mount Prenardo, Mount Chiappo, Madonna del Vento, Cima Colletta, Mount Penice, Lake Orta, Mount Resegone) become, in these evocative and alienating images, a metaphor for a primarily psychological dynamics.

«Mountain ascents – continues the artist – correspond to the same climbing up and down within oneself: to do so one needs physical ability, constancy, mysticism, discipline and time. But this kind of spirituality and contact with us and with the other (not just human) has been taken away from us by the frenetic world of the reproducibility of moving images. It therefore becomes necessary to slow down, aiming at the harmonious development of the person, a slowing down to be understood almost like a Zen practice».

my tops

Sara Bianchi concludes (who also uses video art, digital art, painting and performance to express herself): «New perspectives must be created to face one’s own mountains. In these photos it is the peaks, as they showed themselves to me and to my rudimentary instrumentation, that take on the role of the only testimony of this inner journey. Hence the choice to name the images based on the point where I took the photo and not for what they depict». —

The sacred mountains of Sara Bianchi in the photos on display at “Sottovento”