The theme of the relationship between man and nature has been always declined by literature and art in its large variety of meanings. In these pictures, representing a climber practicing bouldering in the Lagorai mountain chain (Trentino-Alto Adige – Italy), the natural environment takes on the characteristics of a primordial uncorrupted place, where the human figure – not accustomed to perceiving limits exceeding his own power – shows a relativity that tends to disappear in other contexts.
Attached to the rocks as to a mother, the climber-son measures his skills, at the same time gushing with pride over his physical achievement and calming down in an undeniable dimension of harmony.
The rugged landscape, almost moon-like, recalls the depths of the forests of the High North, where the anti-heroes of Jack London felt a great sense of wonder and loneliness, forgetting all everyday questions. As in the works of London, the magnificence of nature – hostile or protective depending on the case – suggests survival or abandonment.
In this love-hate relationship, man seeks levity and control, while nature, thanks to gravitational power, opposes the rise. It is a challenge then, but also the recovery of the sense of the experience and lucid assessment of one’s own role. The body-to-body with the natural elements, accentuated by the semi- nakedness of the climber, becomes a metaphor for the relationship between the entire human community and the environment.
When man does not arise inadvertently above his own limits and abuses of the environment surrounding him, the progress can be synonymous of vitality and balance. Only apparently are man and nature opposing elements. In the silence of the mountains, nature becomes teacher of courage and respect. Here, in fact, nothing belongs to man, but for awareness of one’s self, because the secret of human kind origins is placed in nature.