From ornate temples to colorful mushrooms to larger-than-life animal sculptures, the giant art installations of Burning Man are a hallmark of the free-spirited desert festival. From Black Rock Desert, Nevada, many of these memorable artworks can all be seen in one place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. starting March 30.
Taking over the museum's Renwick Gallery, the “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibition will showcase immersive room-sized installations, costumes, jewelry, and other ephemera from the festival. Nora Atkinson (SAAM Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft) and the Burning Man Project (the non-profit who produces the festival) organized the exhibition with feedback from the Burning Man community, who played a major role in selecting the pieces for the exhibition.
Artists in the exhibition include: David Best, Candy Chang, Marco Cochrane, Duane Flatmo, Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti, Five Ton Crane Arts Collective, FoldHaus Art Collective, Scott Froschauer, HYBYCOZO (Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu), Android Jones, Aaron Taylor Kuffner, Christopher Schardt, Richard Wilks, and Leo Villareal.
Throughout nearby neighborhoods surrounding the SAAM, multiple installation sites were selected for works by Jack Champion, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, HYBYCOZO, Laura Kimpton, Mischell Riley, and Kate Raudenbush.
Scroll down to see some of the Burning Man installations over the years.
“‘No Spectators’ is a long-standing saying on Playa. You are encouraged to fully participate,” says Nora Atkinson. “It’s all about being there, being fully present, and not just observing. Two of the ten principles of Burning Man are radical participation and radial inclusivity, meaning that there are no outsiders. Everyone is part of the experience.”
Tickets to the opening party on March 29 are already sold out, but the museum will host a series of related events coming up, including walking tours of the exhibition, artist and gallery talks, and an open house from noon to 2 p.m on March 30.
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