Ernst Schmied and Jürg Marmet were the second team to make it to the summit of Mount Everest. We will probably find their names unfamiliar although most of us do know the first men to reach the “roof of the world”.
This photo book explores the human obsession with peaks. Our quest for greater heights have us staring at mountain tops that protrude the azure skies. Yesterday’s mountains have been replaced by today’s buildings. The structures are different but our desires remain the same — to be “on top of the world"; to be all-conquering; to be at our peaks.
My project aims to chart our desire to scale both these natural and artificial heights. Images of mountain peaks juxtapose against architectural shots of building tops. The peaks in natural landscapes are placed alongside the heights of man-made ones and the point of view of these images are from the ground looking up. Also, the images are completely monochromatic to highlight the similarities of the structures and forms between the natural and man-made landscapes. In addition, the form of the book mirrors the theme, mimicking different vertexes with each unfolding.
In doing so, I examine the symbolic imagery associated with positions of power as well as the visual language that has been entrenched within this imagery.
What is it that we see when we look up? Why is higher better? Does one achieve success when one reaches the summit? Do we all want to be on top?
Indeed, peaks are the reasons you know the names Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.