The subtly elaborated ink drawings which Ulrich Elsener creates on maps connect the physiognomy of the human body with the topography of the landscape. These works engender multiple resonances: from James Lovelook’s Gaia theory, which equates the world viewed as an organism with the human body, all the way to far-eastern philosophies with their abrogation of the object-subject dichotomy.
Concerning these pictures, Sibylle Omlin writes: “Elsener’s pictures are metaphors that prompt a reconsideration of the relationship of human beings to the world. On maps of the Mont Blanc region past the Swiss Alps all the way to the Dolomites, the artist places his figures in valleys, lakes, and mountains, thereby liberating them from the ancestral territory of the visual arts. His bodies, delicately delineated with an ink pen, enter into connection with the geographical features so as to give rise to an osmosis between inner and outer living space…”
The forty pictures done on maps of the Alps which are brought together in this volume were created over more than ten years of work. They inspired the Swiss writer Jürg Halter to “Remarks”; his approach from a poetical perspective brings a stimulating enrichment to the book.