Štefan Papčo

United Mountains, 2009

concrete, 130x130x125 cm


Before 1989, mountain climbing used to mean for a certain group of people an affordable platform for self-realisation as well as an opportunity for overcoming some political boundaries. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, the High Tatras were regularly occupied by hoards of mountain climbers, who underwent intensive training, who would climb and try their best to get to the national representation. To be in the representation team meant to go to the Alps twice a year for a month. In the 1970’s, in one season, the Czechoslovak team (about 30 people) managed to climb more climbing routes than the rest of the world. During those days, the mountains used to mean space that was considered immune towards political and social limitations. They had their own rules, were independent and everywhere the same. The only thing that mattered was the experience, technical, psychological and physical preconditions of the individual. The concept of the “United Mountains” project ignores urban and other inhabited spaces. It comprises a junction of selected (attractive from the climbers’ point of view) European mountains that are integrated to form a one and unique landscape with its own rules. It tries to emphasize the value and internal power of the mountains.