The photographer amour fou
amour fou («crazy love»), is the pseudonym of a photographer from the Bernese Oberland who is active in the cultural and creative sector. His photos are heavily influenced by his artistic environment and his experiences as a former extreme mountaineer. In his photos, he does not seek idyllic, sweeping views of the mountains, but portrays an encounter with the summit, with the sheer rock face, with storms and biting cold. He captures the wildness and scale of these gargantuan massifs, their plunging chasms and their omnipresent dangers.
The mountains are a lonely, cold and windy world. Such is their grandeur, we are enticed to climb them or pit our skills against them. The mountains can be treacherous and full of danger, but also a source of strength, joy and reflection.
The history of mountain climbing goes back a long way and teaches us that it is above all a story of human emotions and desires. At the beginning of the first millennium, Jesus was said to have climbed a mountain «to be alone and pray».
People are drawn to the mountains for a variety of reasons. Whatever they are, nobody comes back down without the realisation that we are small and the mountains are big. Confronted by our limitations and our weaknesses, in the mountains we are made aware of our fears and doubts.
«The mountains are silent teachers and make silent pupils» Goethe once observed, as he struggled, freezing, through a snowstorm, searching for the path over the Furka Pass into Valais.
The photos, some taken on the ground, others from an open helicopter, often portray forbidding mountains. I prefer the moments when storms are raging, when fog envelops the mountains, and when fresh snow makes the mountains inaccessible. Then the mountains appear vast and lonely, there is no-one to be seen, and I am all alone with the mountains and my camera.
A fantastic feeling, my secret «amour fou»