& skyscrapers

ignition, through the use of symbols and thoughts, of broken hearted mountains as well as broken hearts of those who go across them

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Dear friends,

last week, upon leaving the studio of Professor Antonio Papisca, a Luminary of international law at the Centro Diritti Umani di Padova (Center for Human Rights in University of Padova) [UNESCO professorship for Human Rights, Democracy and Peace] I thought to myself: “come on, there must be action, ideas that seem apparently crazy must come to life”]. Just a short while before, during my presentation of a personal strategy for the Unesco National Conference in favor of my hometown Vicenza, the professor, acquainted with my passion for mountains and exploration, focused on the intolerable situation in Tibet turning to me with the following words: “We cannot leave the Dalai Lama on his own. He has manifested great moral coherency in these days”.  “No doubt”, I replied and with a moment of hesitation and the prudence that anticipates audacious replies “to say the truth I have devised another civil work of art similar to the previous one”.  Just like that, right on the spot, smooth and cool –  or, as you will notice – not quite that cool considering it is effectively something really hot, igniting – and stimulated by his availability, almost enthusiastically available towards my actions; like throwing a dart without knowing where it will strike, the title of the new project came forth and I said: “The Sad Smoky Mountains”! I feel I struck right at the heart.

Here I am, my mountaineer friends and not only. The idea that I’m about to submit to your attention is quite simple and of easy conception, accessible to each and every one. The idea, however,  is not enough. It needs to have an organic shape which can give it integrity and continuity, and maybe even an escape clause for those who are skeptical or averse to civil actions. The idea, in other words, must develop into a work of art, as the “previously mentioned ” work-of-action [The Wandering Cemetery  and subsequent portfolio of images] where during nighttime I had 400 white crosses descend the Veneto plateaus, a wandering cemetery symbol of tens of thousands of fallen during the wars. These crosses wandering towards the city just to witness how the living really live. The work of art gave Vicenza  and it’s bad vicissitudes quite a boost as well as giving origin to a new course – part of which the Venice Biennale – that will most certainly lead to the Unesco National Conference for Vicenza.

In synthesis my new idea: “To kindle the broken hearts of both mountains and men with the color of shame-sadness-outrage and bid food to those who resist”.

The organic development of the project will follow below, the conceptual shape which transforms ideas into art through an action that can last in time and not dispel uselessly.  This work-of-action is technically less difficult, simpler than the previous even though I can still not foresee future developments, probably superior developments. My intimate friends are many and many more, especially amongst mountaineers. I appeal to them,  and to the reliability [probably veiled by “sane folly”] they recognize in me.

A group of friends and I are already forming a team – at the beginning of May whilst Mount Everest shall  be being  violated –  the team will ascend Mount Cervino. The other mountains – and those “others” who fight for freedom and for the dignity of man – will be there waiting.

Let’s see how it goes. Time will tell. Tight hugs

Alberto Peruffo [ Italy ]

 projectPROGETTO >>


Project of the Work

- authentic or virtual, of action or of thought -
gnition, through the use of symbols and thoughts,  of broken hearted mountains as well as broken hearts of those who go across them
a land living sculpture_a social environmental sculpture
conceived and directed by Alberto Peruffo

[Throughout the world in proximity of the arrival of the Olympic torch on the summit of Mount Everest
+ the inauguration of the Olympics in Peking]

Narrative synthesis of the work of art
Man has lost control of himself and of what he calls nature. The governors of the world nurture the Olympic torch of hypocrisy. An uncontrollable multitude of men and mountains kindle minds and hearts so as to trace the sky with a net of signals visible from afar, a net of ungovernable indignation and outrage, sadness and rebellion against the daily violation of fundamental rights. What remains of man, the image of one who has no respect for what differs from himself may it be similar in ways or of a beaten and bent nature without remedy, is but smoke. An evanescent color of spilled blood, shame on those who have always remained in silence. Food for those who resist.

First ignition
At 13:00 hrs (local time), during the first ten days of May 2008 (period during which we expect the Olympic torch to reach the heights of Mount Everest) when the sky is clear and blue and hardly any wind blows on those mountains that are symbols to mountaineering, especially the Alps such as Monte Bianco, Monte Rosa, Cervino, Monviso etc. (there are no limits, neither geographical nor of altitude, but we will try to concentrate our energies on the most significant alpine heights, or, should one wish to go further, extra-alpine heights, including minor mountain peaks as well).

Second ignition
As above, but extending it to cities throughout the world. At 13:00 hrs, the midday of August 8th 2008, day upon which the Peking Olympic games will be inaugurated, on all mountain peaks, hills or significant panoramic protuberances including artificial constructions such as skyscrapers and similars.

The carrying out of the work of art
Differently from the net of nets which unites in a single point as applied to The Wandering Cemetery, The Sad Smoky Mountains foresees a net of nets that develops in a diffused and uncontrolled manner (almost as to contrast that which has to be fought), an unconfined net applicable everywhere. The carrying out of the work of art from entwinement to entwinement throughout the net is extremely simple and can be done with the use of very economic means. It foresees the use of, besides that of a pack-pack and all the necessary equipment to ascend that which is to be ascended and the bringing back to valley of all that has been unavoidably consumed, the following 4 fundamental elements:

A good pair of legs :-[applied to a thinking head]-: for those who will ascend mountains :-[better to do so with companions, a group of friends, both for the final overall effect as well as for safety reasons during roped parties]-:

A series of red smoke signals such as SMOKE 2 or SMOKE 3, available from any sports shop, armory, stationery store, hardware shop, etc. The cost may vary between 1,5 and 10 €uro per smoke signal. It is suggested to buy at least a couple per person (minimum five should you succeed in finding only the SMOKE 1 or similar signals which are, in fact, rather small. These should be lit contemporarily so as to create an effect of consistency), and it is your duty to bring home and to correctly dispose of the used signal shells which contain potassium nitrates and sugar (a natural mixture used to construct smoke signals).

A digital camera or film camera so as to document the ignition/ascension.

A watch synchronized to legal time (local time).

For the first ascension, on the day defined by a data center – summarized by an “art” director in strict contact with a weather forecast center in concomitance with the evolution of events in Tibet, along the Northern Ridge of Mount Everest – the smoke signals will be contemporarily (not necessarily) lit on all the mountains peaks reached, trying to capture the images not only of our own ignited signals but also of those around us as well as those visible from afar.

For the second ascension, independently from weather conditions, all will proceed as described above except that it will occur on the inauguration day of the olympics.

The sole data collection and information center posting  these mountain events and cities will be the following website listing facts and events received from local representatives. The ignitions will be coordinated and subdivided according to geographical areas and local times.

Declared intent of the work of art
In an époque where increasing abuses and unsustainable hypocrisies such as these emerged in occasion of the upcoming Peking Olympics, where the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people are repeatedly violated or where the highest Peak on Earth is ensnared subduing it to the needs of a commercial game, an olypmic game become perverse, no longer symbol of freedom and finiteness but of omnipotence and self complacence, of what can be created within a circuit constructed for the pleasure and glory of man, often violating the very limits of human nature or manipulating the natural conditions in which we act and behave, thus imposing false freedoms;
- In a “smoke in the eyes” époque where governors of the world nurture illusions for those who wanted them in power;
- In these days imminent to the olympic celebration
It is our intent to cast an alarm signal to all men of good will, a signal of support to those who daily fight in favor of the fundamental rights of man and of his inalienable surroundings, a sign of solidarity towards those courageous leaders such as the Dalai Lama whose honesty and foresight should be guides and examples to contrast the devastating darkness created by moral carelessness of dozens, hundreds of politicians, men of power and intellectuals without dignity and without scruples who believe to be, or pretend to be unconquerable masters of our destiny, the last of their mercerized goods.


Invitation to the work of art

Dear friends,

What is being asked of you may once again seem crazy or of too ephemeral nature to have artistic or civil effects capable of determining the purpose that all of us, authors and co-authors, prefix to reach: leaving a red sign in the sky to express our dissent against the abuses and hypocrisies of our times. A symbolic sign erupting from Earth, erupting from the mountains, from our consciences the very moment the olympic flame is about to be lit. A flame, which instead of guaranteeing the high principles to which it is inspired, dramatically reflects the enormous contradictions of this époque of ours, becoming a marketplace where all can be sold, even man’s destiny along with the environment in which he miserably lives. It seems as if the olympic flame destined to cross the Mount Everest Peak will be conveyed to the Earth’s viscera, metabolized, refused and regurgitated under a different form from the heights of other mountains of the world (may these heights be real or artificial, rocky peaks or sleepy consciences) so as to shade the sky with the color of blood, of shame, of sadness and in last analysis, of rebellion; our individual act of dissent that no one can control because single and elusive. Should governments, commissions, sports teams, and athletes maintain silence in front of the unacceptable facts currently taking place in Tibet, should they maintain silence in front of those facts occulted in other parts of the world including  “western civilizations”, let them do so; we will not bend ourselves to the complaisant of politics and economy, we will use a simple gesture, an unspoken language visible from afar which each and every one of us can manifest without words, without too much difficulty and without running the risk of being touched because neither damage nor violence whatsoever will be perpetrated against others. Our sole weapon being the art, free and documentable  creativity, a net of nets that will pass on information, images, documents needed to develop a work of art, the civil intent being superior to all other intents, a social sculpture performed directly on and in unison with the surrounding landscapes so as to underline the indissoluble alliance between man and environment, between man and the other self, may this self be animal-plant-mineral or similar to himself, a himself reflected in the other; the violation of one proclaims the death of both.

Dear friends, I will be waiting for all of you on top of mountain peaks. Let’s light the fire of courage and indignation that simmers within.


Tashi delek.


La pace sia con voi – May peace be with you.

>> Alberto Peruffo, Montecchio Maggiore, Vicenza, Italy


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