This year, Elevation 1049 titled Frequencies, curated by Neville Wakefield and Olympia Scarry opened this weekend.
The contemporary art programme in the mountains features ‘Mirage Gstaad’, a new outdoor site specific sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken that will remain on view in Gstaad, for the first time, over the course of two years, dialoguing with the Alpine landscape over the changing seasons.
Frequencies convenes for the opening weekend a diverse group of international visual and performing artists from multiple generations and backgrounds who are presenting a dense program of live performances in various indoor and outdoor locations in and around Gstaad. Participating artists are: Nina Beier, Suzanne Ciani, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Zhana Ivanova, Marie Karlberg, Liz Magic Laser, Cori Kresge and Hanna Novak, Isabel Lewis, Naama Tsabar and Marianne Vitale.
Time and space are the measure of all landscape and the idea of frequency carries that measure within its dual meanings. Frequency is both the rate at which something occurs or is repeated over a given period of time or in a given sample, and also, the rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second. The third edition of Elevation 67G8 invokes both of these ideas.
Mirage Gstaad by Doug Aitken uses the frequency of light to reflect the sublime Alpine landscape as part of a continually changing encounter in which land and sky, subject and object, inside and outside are in constant flux. Standing in contrast to the surrounding chalet’s the ranch-style structure suggests a latter-day architectural version of Manifest Destiny, the westward migration that began in Europe and finally settled in California. With every available surface clad in mirror it both absorbs and reflects the landscape around in such ways that the exterior will seemingly disappear just as the interior draws the viewer into a neverending kaleidoscope of light and reflection.
Frequencies proposes a dialogue between the semi-permanent structure of Mirage Gstaad and transitive and ephemeral nature of performance. Exploring ideas that range from the acoustic structure of landscape itself to the healing properties it has conferred upon its residents, from ideas of beauty and destruction to future-shock they will activate the storied as well as the lesser known spaces of Gstaad and the surroundings both inside and outside. Where Mirage plays to a reflected landscape as it is beamed across social media so the program of performances bring to Frequencies the intimacy of unrepeatable personal encounter.