Ulrike Heydenreich bases her drawings and collages on the historical postcards in her collection - mostly early 20th century black and white photographs printed on 'baryta' paper. Picture postcards marked the beginning of photography. ‘The beauty of the Alps fascinates me. Even looking at the black and white photos from the past touches me. Timeless scenes that show the pristine nature of remote places. I want to reflect this feeling in my work.’
I am particularly drawn to postcards made from real photographic prints - with the deepest blacks and a silky gloss. I enlarge the images, cut and reassemble them to create a new whole that captures the experience of standing in front of these huge snow-covered mountain ranges.
Maps and Alpine enthusiasts
From a wide, well-filled set of drawers, Ulrike Heydenreich pulls out an elongated, printed panorama of the kind she uses in her Fundstücke (Finds). It dates from 1885. Hiking and climbing in the mountains became popular in the 19th century. Alpinism took off and mountains began to attract people who previously had no reason to be there. Unlike the local population, they did not come to herd cows; they considered it a challenge to climb mountains purely for pleasure, as a sporting activity.
This was also the moment when tourism was taking off across Europe, prompting the publication of maps and panoramas, with views of a mountain range. Alpine enthusiasts could now read the names of the peaks making up a particular view, whether on location or (better still, perhaps) from the comfort of their own homes. These maps are often impressively wide – as much as three metres in some cases. They were published neatly folded up with a cover.
Ulrike Heydenreich, Landscape 08, 2012, Collage (multiple layers), 85 x 65 cm. Image Markus J. Feger
Visitors with works by Ulrike Heydenreich. Image by Jan-Kees Steenman.
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