When Tethys Sea Retreats Westward, Leaving The Reverberation (2022)


4k, single channel video, color, 24’52”, 2022
Sound: Baishui


《当特提斯海向西退却,留下残响》是以在高海拔山区所崇尚的白海螺作为线索。影像在定格镜头中切换,都与“风景”有关,而这些风景聚焦于中国西南横断山脉废弃的矿区与山林。对应影像的文本和旁白,分别是一位尔苏族的老人在用他们即将消失的濒危语言,讲述古老的白海螺传说;另一部分改写自诺瓦里斯未完成的小说《Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802)》,探讨由地下世界引发的感知与思考。在生命尺度的短暂性与土地恒久变迁的关系中,召唤一个远古的时空;就如同影像,虽拍摄于当下的矿区废墟、自然与山林,但所在文本的复调中,引起的想象是关于地层时间的堆栈。白海螺如同一个钥匙的存在,作为一种尺度对话之间的联结,是从现在到过去的一种时间推移,从山峰回到海洋,从人回到石头。
65 million years ago, the Indian plate violently collided with the Eurasian plate from south to north and the Paleo-Tethys Sea retreated. This led to the birth of Hengduan Mountains. Hence, those ancient mineral deposits were born in the ocean. According to the legend of the Tibetan and Yi people in the mountains of southwest China, ore is the food of the mountain gods. But who could have ever predicted that for thousands of years, humans have been taking away the food from the mountain gods, for paving the way to modern civilization.

When Tethys Sea retreats westward, leaving the reverberation (2022) is based on the white conch revered in high-altitude mountains. The moving-images are switched between freeze-frame shots, all related to "landscapes". These landscapes focus on the abandoned mining areas and the land in the Hengduan Mountains in southwest China. As for The text and narration corresponding to the video, one is from an old man of the Ersu ethnic group who is using their endangered language to tell the ancient legend of the white conch, and the other is adapted from Novalis's unfinished novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802), which explores the human’s experience in the face of ore.

In the relationship between the ephemerality of the scale of life and the permanence and change of the land, This work summons an ancient time and space. Although we can only see the current mining ruins, nature and mountain forests, through the polyphony of video and text in this work, the aroused imagination becomes a stack of geological layers. The white conch is like a key, acting as a link between the dialogues in different scales as well as a time passage from the present to the past, the mountain to the ocean, the person to the stone.

A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, 2022