The Valley of the Dry Bones

In summer 2014 Karrie Higgins and I began planning a video to promote essays she has published as part of her process in writing her first book. I initially conceived the video as a documentary style short to talk about her process, but it quickly segued into performance art video. Karrie had been doing performative acts in the process of writing her book – lying down in the place where bomber Mark Hoffman was laid after his car blew up from the accidental detonation of one of his homemade bombs. Making her own ink in the techniques Hoffman used in creating forged documents. Aging paper. Writing in Deseret Alphabet. It was an easy choice to compile a series of performative acts and to put them into a video documented performance on the Utah Salt Flats and locations in Salt Lake City.

In this video Karrie takes on the role of the prophet Ezekiel bringing a message to the city. The performance is daring in that in Mormon culture, the predominant religion in Utah, only men give blessings and revelation. While not Mormon, Higgins’ performance plays off of protest actions of the Ordain Women movement, a Mormon organization aimed at equalizing power structures and roles held by men and women in the Mormon religion.

The video was shot with a simple Nikon 1 camera. The voiceover was recorded with a Zoom H6 audio recorder. The project was edited in Adobe Premiere.

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