/15 Mountains

Jürgen Nefzger

Panta Rhei

The little figure on the rim of the mountain seems to remind us of Caspar David Friedrich’s “Nebelmeer”. But the famous painting from 1816 and Nefzger’s picture taken in 2006 at the Aletsch Glacier in the Alps only seem related at the first glance. While Friedrich let his lonesome wanderer face the sublime beauty of nature, Nefzger switches the perspective entirely. What man contemplates today are the shrinking remains of a once overwhelming glacial natural force subjugated in less than century. The term Panta Rhei was used by Plato to resume the philosophical studies of Heraclitus that argued the fugacity of being and the vulnerability of the world. Nothing remains, including the so-called eternal ice and this knowledge relegates the viewer to become aware of the precariousness of his own existence and the world surrounding us.