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'The Peaks'


art project by Valentina Gelain, 2022 - Present

The main themes of the project are the psychic instances, the connection between them, and what can be achieve if we actively connect to the unconscious and try to overcome the passive and illusory condition we perpetrate with our 'conscious' state.

'The Peaks’ is a figuration of the (numbed) self - a depiction of imperceptible inner consistencies and dynamics, between cowering indifference and rooted existences.

From the clear spire of the ego, implacable impulses induce an apparent descent into the abyss, a glimpse of the cosmic womb… and in the very liminal penumbra one might (re)find awareness, vital links, and finally awaken.

Circumstances that in the artist's imagination becomes almost palpable in the symbolism of the art production.

References that bring together archetypes, the interpreted value of the colour spectrum, the intimate connection with the natural element and the poetic narrative.

The title takes inspiration from the classic image of the ‘iceberg’, to describe how ancestral and unattainable by reason the human unconscious can be. A title that finds a perfect resonance in the geological locations chosen for the artfilm.

With their rich essence, the Black and White  perfectly embody the concept of these entities that lodge within us. The visible and the invisible, the known and the oblivion, always in this perpetual will and clash.

’The Peaks’ is a reminder: the two poles are still us, the poles are me and the other. We are the white, we are the black... and everything in between, around.

From a message of duality and coexistence, of mutual listening and consideration, attention to the other is consequently stimulated. No longer the other within us, but other individuals and so on.

The observer is invited to dive into personal introspection, based on the realisation of the inner concreteness and outcomes that manifest in the superficial sphere of the being. Understand and connect with what we try in vain to avoid, from which we must try to draw every filament, reflection, motion that we are able to grasp and work with ourselves.


Knowing how to interpret and accept ever-evolving mutation through discomfort, turning a situation of personal struggle into active possibility.

The art film 'The Peaks', through the landscapes of Ostrobothnia and their peculiar conformations, plunges us among surreal and dreamlike scenarios, where one can be absorbed and transported into the non-visible that constitutes us.

The locations of the main work (the video) is Lostenen and the surrounding forest in northern Ostrobothnia (FI), The Devil's Nest in South Ostrobothnia (FI), and some secondary clips are filmed in the Bus del Buson, in the Belluno Dolomites Park (IT).

The multidisciplinary project involves the expression and research through the production of: video art/performance, crafting, material art, mixed media, drawings, photographs and writing.


Moving towards the reflected nothingness,

detaching dimly from the distinct surface.


I am deeping, following the thread_

_line leading to the gate, over which the will slips.

Motionless, standing upright, now I see it.


I see me:


seated, intense and umbrous like everything beyond,

waiting, in silent imperturbability.

The peculiar eyes scrutinise me, revealing myself in the cesium billows.


... I was expecting.


I know what I have to do, this has already happened.

I would not go in there again,

and yet I can't help it,

not any more.

The abysmal complexity calls me back,


Self trembles and the truth awaits.



not filled by a plunge, attempted visits are never enough,

the finite, (here), is not even illusion...

escape does not reside in contemplation;


but stripped of constraints

with true attention, promptness of volition,

need to grasp,

we can transform meaning, we can free in us

adding effects.


Conjoint unity,

meeting, dissolving on the way,

in the balance on extremes

of still unknown connections.


The conscious pallour fades into penumbra

and mingles with the dense darkness;


lost reverberations are (re)evoked in the blur,

unexpected paths are (re)found,

dipping into iridescent founts.


The apparent whispering emptiness











I sense the visceral centrality of us,

the ancestral origin.


.. and finally in the mutated renewal,

in aware chaos,


I perceive the superhuman, boundless, infinite

relationship with the whole ~'

Info about film:

Lgth: 9min 47sec
Credits: Direction - Valentina Gelain | Camera operator - Jukka Rajala, Bekim Hasaj | Editing - Valentina Gelain | Sound/Music - Stefan Backas | Assistant - Bekim Hasaj | Professional advice Jukka Rajala
Sponsors: Svensk-Österbottniska Samfundet, Svenska Kulturfonden & Arts Promotion Center Finland-Taike

The art film/project is funded by Svenska Kulturfonden, Svensk-Österbottniska Samfundet & Arts Promotion Centre Finland-Taike.


Copyright © 2022-2024 The Peaks by Valentina Gelain

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