THE MOUNTAIN TOUCH

THE MOUNTAIN TOUCH

03.11.2022 - 02.04.2023

Paola Anziché, Sara Berts, Ruben Brulat, Alberto di Fabio, Michael Fliri, Lukas Foglia, Fernando Garcia-Dory,
Nona Inescu, Marcos Lutyens, Andrea Nacciarriti, George Steinmann, Peter Stridsberg

Curated by Andrea Lerda

 

 

The Mountain Touch exhibition, curated by Andrea Lerda, continues Museomontagna’s Sustainability Program, launched in 2018.
The project is developed through dialogue with a number of Italian and foreign researchers and collaboration with the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Turin, the Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health. Istituto Superiore di Sanità, the Central Medical Commission of the Italian Alpine Club, the National Research Council, and the Pian dei Termini Forest Therapy Station.

 

At the same time as the mountain environment is being configured as a natural educational workshop where awareness-building trails and ecopedagogical activities are engaging people in a new empathetic relationship with the world, we are seeing a growing realisation of the therapeutic and rigenerative action it exercises on the human mind and body.
For centuries, people have frequently acted on the intuition that humans feel a need to enter into communion with the natural world for the benefit of their emotional state, body, brain and mind.
At a time in history characterized by pandemic and environmental emergencies, far and wide, scientists and researchers are working to demonstrate scientifically what has to date been studied and analysed without validation from the world of science. 

New studies show that contact with the natural world reduces inflammatory levels in the brain, linked to depression, other mood disorders and mental health problems. Research demonstrates that just two hours in the woods will suffice to significantly lower cytokine levels in the blood and reduce inflammatory states.
Contact with natural environments such as green spaces, woods and forests translates into a lower incidence of allergies, autoimmune disorders and high stress levels and, by contrast, improved cardiovascular functions, haemodynamic, neuroendocrine, metabolic and oxidation rates, as well as mental processes and mental wellbeing.

Today however, the loss of direct experiences in nature – conceived as alien to everyday life by most people and the cause of a nature deficit disorder, especially in children, fuelled by a sedentary lifestyle centred on technological development – is linked to major ubanisation and a consequential loss of natural spaces and biodiversity, with huge impact on our physical, psychological and emotional health.
Considering that 68% of the global population will be living in urban areas by 2050, what will the implications and consequences of this sea-change be? What role can mountain environments play in enabling us to rediscover new ways of experiencing the world? How can the pandemic situation and a different narration of it from that given so far contribute to the development of a new vision of nature and incentivise care of the ecosystem and its elements?

In this context, several additional questions steer The Mountain Touch project. Why are we drawn to visit the mountains and walk in the woods or a city park? How is this ontological link with nature visibly and invisibly manifested, and what impact can it have on the human mind and body? Furthermore, what cultural change can awareness of our genetic and psychological connection and the therapeutic power exercised on us by nature produce in the societies of the future?
Through an immersive narrative journey – which brings together the works of fifteen international artists – the thought of the “mountain that heals” is combined with that of the “mountain cure“.