Gobi · Takla Makan · Sahara
In October 2003, Bruno Baumann became the first human being to successfully complete a solo crossing of the Gobi Desert – a kind of “Himalaya of sand” with the world’s tallest dunes. Accomplishing this bold project was the high point and the crowning completion of a huge project that spanned 1½ decades and carried Baumann to the planet’s largest deserts.
Whether it was crossing the Takla Makan with a camel caravan, hiking across the Transhimalaya in Tibet, or journeying completely across the Sahara from sub-Saharan Africa to the Mediterranean Sea: in each case, personal experiences and adventures were interwoven with Baumann’s profound knowledge of every culture that he encountered.
Time and time again, Baumann has felt magnetically attracted to the Gobi Desert. His first visit there was in 1994, when he embarked on a quest for Marco Polo’s “Black City,” the impressive ruined city on the Silk Road. This expedition simultaneously laid the cornerstone for his later success in a solo crossing of the Gobi Desert. The 1994 expedition, which had been granted the status of a UNESCO project, marked the first time that a caravan had ever crossed the sandy ocean of the Gobi Desert. Baumann’s first attempt to cross the Gobi alone failed in 1996. But seven years later, and after a series of several other desert adventures, he finally achieved this seemingly impossible feat.
In this multimedia presentation, Bruno Baumann strives to convey the fascination of the world’s deserts. He depicts them in all their majestic beauty. Each desert is an overall artwork, an ambivalent juxtaposition of barrenness and the fullness of life, a paradoxical realm of infinite freedom and excruciating hardships. And Baumann answers the age-old question: What is it that has always attracted people to the desert and, once it has captivated them, never again releases its hold on them?
in high-definition projection with 8-meter-wide screen