Passive Activism |
Lars Schmidt

Mountains and Rivers
are Speaking

Holy Land Project

Whatever evaluation we finally make of a stretch of land, however, no matter how profound or accurate, we will find it inadequate.
The land retains an identity of its own. Still deeper and more subtle than we can know.
Our obligation towards it then becomes simple: to approach with an uncalculating mind, with an attitude of regard. To try to sense the range and variety of its expressions - its weather and colors and animals.
To intend from the beginning to preserve some of the mystery within it as a kind of wisdom to be experienced, not questioned.
And to be alert for its openings, for that moment when something sacred reveals itself within the mundane, and you know the land knows you are there.
- Barry Lopez’ ‘Arctic Dreams’

You enter a church - this can be a chapel or a cathedral - and in most cases, a corresponding sensation arises.
And if not a sensation, then at least a behavior.
Certain parts of the inside are only accessible to certain people, the same applies to certain objects.
Small rituals, learned or emerging, determine the way to be and to move, as well as the relationship to the space.

There are concepts like devotion, respect and humility.
There might be the feeling of something special, at least not casual, maybe a faint idea that there is more than we can understand, a sensation of a greater context.
In short, churches are special spaces, and if we look closely, they are because we make them into it.

Accordingly, I would like to take the concept of the sacred towards a place that surely deserves such a particular approach, since we are part of it and cannot exist without it.
In our language this place is called 'nature'.
I write 'in our language', since already by choosing the words, a separation is being established, namely between nature and man, just as it had been established between God and man.

This project seeks to revive and reanimate nature, and to give it back its sanctity.

It is an open call out to all with access to land (and sea) to acknowledge its sanctity and to symbolically declare a certain area to be 'Holy Land'.
This part of land (or sea) is then to be treated accordingly.
It is chapel and cathedral, and it is to be approached in this way, also in its maintenance:

These 'reserves' or sanctuaries are not to be exploited whatsoever, but serve the sole purpose of supporting biodiversity and the recovery of the area.
They are places with their own inherent value and identity, and will be accompanied appropriately.

Details about how to, or if to mark the area by an artistic intervention of some sort are to be discussed individually.

If this project and approach interests you, and you have access to a small or large site of land, please do not hesitate to get in touch. -> contact (at)