The Moving Mountains book is a selection of material enquiries of the Swedish landscape, narrated through a series of texts, recipes and visual materials that ask how we can reconfigure and inform our understanding of the land that surrounds us. The structure of Moving Mountains focuses on opposites: mining in the North and agriculture in the South, the Lapland fells and the Skåne plains, wanted and unwanted industrial materials, new and old approaches to the land. Photographs by Joshua Olley take the reader through portraits of Skåne, Halland, Uppland, Södermanland, Norrbotten and Lappland. Although the investigation was based in Sweden, the concept is reproducible, which comes across during collaborative moments in the book. We asked 20 artists including Jess Gianelli, Amanda Lydért, Eric Hesselbo and Erik Thörnqvist to create artworks that answer how they would move a mountain closer to them. Texts from Scottish, Portuguese and East African authors also make the mountain more familiar through auto-fictional accounts of the Cairngorms, Rebecca Solnit’s concept of the blue of distance, and a sound mapping exercise. The book progresses through these different landscapes, its colour palette is taken from the materials we investigated and used within the project. The design of the book directly responds to the content, meaning the narrative is as much a visual investigation as it is a text based one. The project is summarised in the cover of Moving Mountains, a thermographic mountain disappears with heat to reveal a Steelwork in Luleå and the words ‘A once distant mountain appears more familiar’.
The book is part of a wider project of the same name which began as an investigation into Kiruna, a city in the north of Sweden currently collapsing into the underground mine that it is sitting on. As Kiruna is relocated, we began to question what makes a place or a landscape, focussing on forgotten materials from mining, forestry and agriculture. The book was launched alongside furniture, a film and some bread at Tableau in Copenhagen in Autumn 2022.
Edited by Jennifer Cunningham and Lab La Bla
Graphic Design: Kiosk Studio
Parole Publishing Press, 2023
24 X 17 cm, 270 pages