Vertigo of the sublime

The end of summer calls for the return to normal, summoning activity. The summer was hot and dry. Day after day, the monotone blue sky etched by the chiselled mountains. The lakes emptied and endless walkers lathered the cafe terraces in the shelter from the torrid sun. The approach of autumn, the creature with the warm complexion and fickle mane, renews the taste for pre-winter adventures, those which oscillate between shadow and light. But something makes me question, why there is this desire to go up there, to brave the overwhelming blasts of wintery winds when, down in the valley, the comforting brightness of the Indian summer continues to warm me?

“ Adventure is extra vital, extraterritorial, extraordinary, which is outside order (extra ordinem), exceptional and literally eccentric.” L’aventure, l’ennui, le sérieux, Vladimir Jankélévitch.

Clémentine Junique

Sublime inspiration

It is often said that the mountains are sublime. This expression resounds through the ages like the sensation of dazzlement, perfection, beauty or irrationality. Previously, perceived as malefic, the mountain landscape finally cast off its evil shadow at the beginning of the 18th century to become a location which was admired and sought after. However, these lands remain hostile and we can question ourselves about our desire to penetrate into their midst, or even to conquer them.

The idea for adventure germinates in part through looking. My curiosity is drawn by the vision which passes in front of my eyes and, as if trapped, I take a step towards it. But, what I see is different from what I look at. What I see is practically devoid of influences, but what I look at is already the fruit of what I built me.

Oona Skari

From my eyes

My sight, this precious internal camera, sweeps all that is found along my path. It registers the moments of fleeting life and, like a spool of film of my life, captures the cliches, stores them, or sometimes erases them due to lack of space. In reality, the adventure that I am pursuing and of which I seized in the blink of an eye was formed much earlier. The mental fabrication had already forged my memory and unconsciously influenced my view.

As a child

The beginning of this useless conquest, to quote the words of Lionel Terray (author of the book, Les conquérants de l’inutile, Ed) started during my childhood spent devouring alpine narratives. I remember the movement of the Paris metro. Amidst the travellers, my reading transported me to the confines of Nepal. A child of the town, these odysseys offered me a way out and implanted the first fantasies and the myths of the hero in my imagination. So, before my tastes assumed, my thirst for adventure, my aesthetic sensibility developed according to what I read and who I met.

Oona Skari


The mountain, on its own, is not sublime because there is nobody to witness the experience. What makes it sublime is the presence of the witness and the projection of their spirit. This fine frontier between necessity of its presence and its incapacity to witness underlines all the notion of the sublime. I am contemplative of a creation in which I participate by the projection of my knowledge and this, nonetheless, roguishly escapes me.

An adventurer is not always romantic and nothing is said about the nature of being sublime. It is a good meeting between the subject and the imagination which is the origin of sublimation. No matter the outcome of the adventure, only one meeting between the look and the observed subject can transform the unspeakable moment to the sublime moment.

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