30 Days of Burning Man – Day 23, The Art
This year there is a possibility that there will be a much higher percentage of newbies heading to the desert so I thought I’d spend the 30 days before the gates open throwing out some information, some images and a little bit of wisdom, advice and snark about the place I love so much. These posts will be generally directed at Burning Man virgins but hopefully some of you old dogs out there will contribute through comments or get some enjoyment out of them as well. So here we go. . I’ll include at least one photo from Burning Man each day and once a week I’ll do nothing but photos. I hope the posts are sometimes helpful and also enjoyable, enjoy ~ ZD Blue
Whenever people talk about Burning Man they talk about the art. Let me first talk about what “art” means because it is a pretty broad definition. You see art can take many, many forms there are the things we always think of paintings and sculptures, we sometimes broaden that to include performance art and if we think about it music and dance and a lot of other things come under the umbrella of “art”. One of the things I love about Burning Man is that all of these forms and more show up on the Playa on steroids, not only from a size perspective but from a thought perspective as well. One of my favorite camps in BRC is the wholly politically incorrect Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro. There is something at the same time horrific, beautiful and utterly snarky about the display they create each year and to me art has to make you feel and the death camp certainly does that.
There is a lot of random performance art or as the principles call it, radical self-expression in BRC. One of my all-time favorite moments occurred while I was walking the Esplanade one night and I stumbled upon three women doing a performance, or a ritual but they were reading from an old book and dropping roses into a fire the whole thing had a very Pagan feel to it. What made it utterly spectacular was that included in the circle of people who had stumbled upon this little show was Jesus Christ, crown of thorns, full sized cross and all. Where else in the world could a good Christian like Jesus Christ enjoy a good Pagan performance?
Finally, I get a lot of questions from people who ask me, do people really burn their art? Yes Virginia, people really do burn their art. I think this is done for a lot of reasons and each artist probably has his or her own reason for why they create something so beautiful only to see it go up in flames. For me, I love the idea that it represents the impermanence of everything, the art, BRC and even our lives. Like flowers, the impermanence of the work makes it even more beautiful for its fleeting existence. As always, some images of art on the Playa and sorry, I don’t have a picture of Jesus at the Pagan ceremony it was one of those moments that I was too swept up in what was happening to shoot.