Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Live images from the expedition,

filmed by David AUTHEMAN

Sunday, 10 June 2007

National hymn of Pink State

National hymn of Pink State
No need to hide, welcome inside, watch the pink elephants dancing. Tomato icebergs, floating around you, try to unwind, see what you find, it´s a state of mind. Won´t you please try to be kind, won´t you please try to be kind?
By Kenneth Thordal 2007


Friday, 8 June 2007

We did it!

We did it! We reached the summit of Mont Blanc this morning at 8.30. The weather was extraordinary fantastic with a beautiful view of the clouds and the other mountains down below. After a night of thunder and lightning in our little shelter at 3800 m the weather had turned upside down, which we saw right away being met by a starry night when we began the last climb for the summit at 3 in the morning।

The beginning of the climb was in the dark and after a few hours the ascending sun kept us company। Finally at the summit we began the transformation of Mont Blanc to Mont Rouge, and the construction of a new pink state on this unique location. Our guides were fantastic and in the end we all sang the national hymn of pink state composed for the occasion by Kenneth Thordal who played along on his ukulele. At this moment the helicopter arrived with Lars and Henrik whose recordings.

I´m looking very much forward to seeing when once again we hit civilization. The climb began three days ago and we will be back tomorrow after days of exhausting, challenging and wonderful experiences in the mountains climbing from 1500 m to 4810m and back.

At the top

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Short up date by sms.

Today Thursday we have reached 3800 m after an extremly tough but great rock climbing. Fantastic photos are to follow! Now we are resting in a hut without heat and electricity! We are melting snow to water with gaz heaters we have brought along. Tonight we go to bed early as we continue the climb at 2 in the morning!

The team is reduced to five people and our fantastic guides, the rest of the group staying in Chamonix organizing things from there. Apparently our helicopter pilot friend is taking a day off his vacation in order to take Lars and Henrik to the top when the work is done so we can get some beautiful and surrealistic pictures of Mont Rouge. That is good news. Talking of helicopters, we haven´t seen the one from the police that cruised over our heads yesterday.

All day on our way up we have been met by descending groups who all of them for various reasons had been forced to turn back before reaching the summit. I sincerely hope we will have more luck on our last part.

That was all for now on this short up date by sms।

Look here to see the creation of Evaristti´s public toilet in the mountain http://real.tvmountain.com/tvm/fso7/eva1/wmv

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

The arrest

Today turned out rather dramatically as I got arrested by the French police on the Mont Blanc massif. But I should probably turn back time and start today´s blog yesterday. My crew had arrived, and while they were having their first training day, I went off to spent some time on my own in the mountains. Inspired by the practical complications that arise in the mountains when you have to go, I carved a toilet in the snow. In order for people to be able more easily to find it, I painted it red using biodegradable fruit colour. The same type I used for my Ice Cube Project in Greenland.

In the evening I joined the team in a hut in the mountains, passing a cosy evening and a freezing cold night before getting up at 5.30 and heading from the hut in Torino just across the Italien border back to France to Aiguillle du Midi. This is a beautiful route crossing the Vallé Blanche. We went along as the sun rose over the mountain tops and enjoyed the quietness of the magnificent nature, the silence only being interrupted once in a while by the dramatic sound of avalanches and falling rocks. Suddenly another, more mechanical, noise appeared. It was the sound of a helicopter that seemed to be cruising around the area were I had passed the day yesterday. The sound came closer and the helicopter passed us close by, finally landing right next to us. Out came two policemen asking for me and as I stepped forward they told me they had come to detain me for questioning about me painting on the Mont Blanc.

In the helicopter I was very nervous. As I have had no encounters with the French police before and as they were speaking to eachother in French and on the radio, I felt very uncomfortable. Kent, from the team, had been allowed to come along (as my guardian angel or was it because he had quite a difficult time on the snowy and steep mountain slopes? We will never know. Anyway, I was very happy to have him beside me in the helicopter, confessing to him that I was terrifyed of the rumours of what goes on late at night in prisons where a lot of men hunger for women....!)

Safely on the ground Kent had to stay outside as the police took me in custody. Once in the station, talking to the police officer I calmed down as he was actually quite a friendly guy. We talked about my piece of art. He told me that the Mont Blanc massif is a protected area and that I wasn´t allowed to paint it. I told of course how the material I had used was biodegradable which I have a biological report that manifests. After taking my deposition they let me off the hook, telling me ”We are watching you, mr. Evaristti”. But they didn´t tell me not to go on with my art project on the summit of Mont Blanc, as I never, really, intended to paint the top. I have worked with all kind of materials as I like to work in whatever material suits the situation and the concept of my work. Paint is only one mean out of so many. When I get to Mont Blanc I will be gentle with it, tug it in like a precious loved one and declare the proud state of Pink State on this particurlar spot - the roof of Europe.

Marco Evaristti arrested on the Mont Blanc

Marco Evaristti arrested on the Mont Blanc by french police in helicopter

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Climb a mountain.

There are probably several good reasons why one would want to climb a mountain. The experience of nature, the excitement, the fysical challenge. But art? And should one finally decide to do so for the purpose of making art, wouldn´t it be an idea to gather a team of runners from the nearby runners club to go along with you?

Well, that´s not exactly what I did. In stead, I´m now heading of, as an artist genius or mad scientist?, for the summit of this very beautiful and rather difficult accesible Mont Blanc together with:

  • a retired doctor, but how comforting it is to have him along. He´s an old friend - I´ve known him forever. A doctor from the nearby runners club can´t beat that,
  • a really good friend who is supportive in terms of as well age and weight, and whose calm nature is a valued opposite to my more flamboyant self,
  • my warmhearted and faithful gallerist, who has prepared for this expedition by swapping his endurance at the wellset table with endurance in the fittness centre,
  • my loyal-and-always-supportive-and-never-reluctant-with-criticism art historical assistant,
  • a musician, who like some other Julie Andrews will spread the tones of whatever comes to his mind during the expedition over the mountaintops,
  • an artcollector, not that he has that many of my things in his collection - but there is of course still hope, with a great spirit of mind and a great sense for beauty,
  • a film-documentarist-journalist whose personality, magnificent voice and bright mind make it possible for us to be able to share this unique experience with a lot of people in a very personal way,
  • and my photographer without whom this just wouldn´t feel right, as his participation in The Ice Cube Project not only boosted our professional relationship but also turned it into a deepfelt friendship.

And now a confession – the only one for now – I came down here together with Joakim a few days prior to the rest of the crew, in order to get a bit a head. But it´s tough. It´s really, really tough! The ascents for one thing, not to mention the descents that are at least as demanding. Another thing is the air. It is so thin that the fysical challenges are doubled. I have already started worrying if this will end up as a bad copy of the Robinson Expedition or if we all will be able to make it to the top of that incredibly beautiful mountain that lies right there just waiting for its change...