Minor, 2010, 30 minutes, single channel video
Minor is a video installation of an attempted journey to Lake Lop Nur in Western China, taking as inspiration the path of turn-of-the-century Swedish explorer Sven Hedin as he tried to map the desert lake as it shifted positions and was ‘lost’ to explorers for over a century. Unable to make my way to the site of the now evaporated lake bed (and former nuclear testing site), the video comprises multiple performative actions that tie together themes of communication, the body (collective/individual), landscape and movement. Minor was shot months after the riots in Urumqi, where local Uighur minorities and Han Chinese populations clashed over growing tensions of economic and political disparity. Actions include writing words with headscarves on cotton trucks, flying a military parachute in the desert, and surreptitiously filming sleeping mummies in museums.
The video moves between hand held first-person perspective framing and wide landscape shots to alternate between an embodied and emotional response to communication and its lack, and a reflection on its consequences.