Nine Nameless Mountains.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2013. 104 pp., 70 color illustrations, 6½x8¼".
Maanantai is formed by a group of young photographers from Helsinki. It all started after a succession of Monday meetings, when they decided to escape North to the Norwegian Lofoten Islands, where Nine Nameless Mountains became their story. Challenging the notion of authorship with a body of work made by one common author and his 16 eyes, it is a poetical and absurd topographical exploration of the notion of distance and scales – latitude versus altitude. Nine Nameless Mountains is built as a playful and discrete collection of photographs mixing various methods of image making -from traditional analog photography, to video stills, laser prints, drawings or mobile phone shots; they are the traces of small experiences, hazardous observations and improvised happenings.
“There was a lot to learn from each other, but at first we just wanted to spent time together, exchange ideas, share stories, have fun... and go.”
Just as the surrealists started in fun, Maanantai's “cadavre exquis” was based on a spontaneous wish for amusement and being surprised by the the action of doing together. The book follows the group experimentations, with the mountain as a “leitmotif”, the escaping horizon as a metaphor for life and the impossibility to reach an absolute goal, it revisits the genre of the road-trip with an impish attitude and curiosity towards the unknown. On the way North, the artists played together with natural elements -stones, waves, light, sand, clouds, to create a playfully confusing story – their motive for the celebration of friendship, photography and chance.