PATHS – Alps

The origin of the joint projects

It started in the Austrian Alps. During our hiking trips we discovered red benches that were placed into the landscape at regular intervals as though they were intended to divide it into sections and provide it with a distinct rhythm. 

This inspired us to develop our own research and measurement tools in the form of red strips of fabric that we used to walk paths with and rhythmically mark the landscape by assigning indefinite measurement and time units to it. While doing so, we documented our actions within the natural environment on photograph and film. We sketched down the resulting ideas and insights and realized them again in painting, sculpture, photography and film.

By introducing a regular minimalistic structure into a landscape, the pre-existing random natural environment gets transposed into a referential framework and thereby visually redefined. Red as a colour of high visibility creates a strong contrast with the surrounding colour spectrum and imbues the fabric strips with an abstract quality that transcends the concrete elements of the landscape. Measuring as a typically human activity that seeks comprehension through quantification is translated into performative action which links the urge for scientific understanding to the performance of spiritual rites.

Irene Müller and Diethard Son © Müller & Sohn, PATHS – Alps
Marking the landscape, Müller & Sohn, Project PATHS – Alps

Exploring landscapes by walking in connection with the artistic and scientific research instruments, the use of photography, film, painting and sculpture – these are the elements that form a wide field of possibilities for the creation of a total work of art. This also includes joint works where both artists cooperate on one single painting.

See below for an example: Kuh Vadis 250 x 150 cm, Acryl auf Baumwolle, Irene Müller und Diethard Sohn 2016, Project PATHS – Alps

Cow Vadis 250 x 150 cm, acrylic on cotton © Müller & Sohn, PATHS – Alps
Kuh Vadis 250 x 150 cm, acrylic on cotton, Irene Müller and Diethard Sohn

The following gallery shows the photographic documentation of their art performances and how Irene Müller and Diethard Sohn have each individually transformed their landscape explorations into painting.

We showed our ongoing project WEGE – Alps for the first time in a salon exhibition of the Kunstverein – Ludwigsburg.