New-Territories / Francois Roche, Camille Lacadee with Pierre Huyghe to stage What Could Happen: an experimental expedition to the Swiss Alps

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From 26th to 28th February 2015, an experimental adventure through art and architecture will take place in the Swiss Alps. Presented by Giorgio Pace Projects and conceived by New-Territories / Francois Roche, Camille Lacadee with Pierre Huyghe, What Could Happen will investigate phenomena and stories surrounding the Diavolezza glacier, named after the beautiful she-devil believed to roam the mountains and entice hunters to their death. The project will result in a film to be shown in the late spring at the LUMA Foundation, Arles.

This myth forms the backdrop for an expedition to the mountains, bringing into focus the modern-day environmental realities of the region. A recommissioned Alpine train dating from the 1910s will collect participants from St Moritz station and begin a journey, heading towards the last sanatorium before the wilds, where Thomas Mann wrote his 1903 novella Tristan. On board guests will receive food hampers courtesy of Owenscorp and booklets explaining the history and topography of the Engadin. The train will travel towards Lej Nair, a frozen lake at the summit of the Bernina Pass, and the powerful climax and focus of investigation of the trip. A surprising twist at the culmination of the journey awaits the train travellers.

Central to the expedition are certain themes: the exploration of supercooling and climate change through architecture and storytelling; death and suicide, referencing contemporary debate (the Dignitas clinic is located in the Swiss Alps, not far from St Moritz); and the mystery of myth, with the terrifying legend of La Diavolezza itself, hanging in the cold air. What Could Happen draws on numerous references to investigate, document and archive a fading mythology, slowly disappearing like the glacier itself.

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