I’m fascinated by the relationship between nature and traffic, especially by tunnels, streets and rail lines leading through the mountains. Although the mountainous region is cold, hostile and sometimes scary, the people always strived to build traffic routes nonetheless.
I’m working and living in Innsbruck, which is located in the middle of the Alps. South of the city there is an important Alpine crossing, the Brenner Pass, the border to Italy.
In former days, the village of Brenner was a popular resting spot for tourists, merchants, and other people travelling to Italy and back. Nowadays, it’s a kind of “lost place,” although Brenner is one of the most important European transit routes. The village — squeezed in between high mountains, the highway and the rail line — is dying. As the border post was closed in 1998, all the customs officials and exchange offices disappeared as well as many hotels and shops.
Brenner is an Alpine bottleneck. It’s dominated by a much-used highway, noise, exhaust gases, and an oversized rail station, surrounded by sheer mountain slopes. It’s a place where irreversible human intrusion turned the Alpine landscape into an ugly spot.
— Doris Doppler, Innsbruck, Austria