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Burning Man: Art in the Desert

by

Burning Man: Art in the Desert Cover

ISBN13: 9780810992900
ISBN10: 0810992906
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For one week in August the Burning Man Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert brings people together in a spirit of self-reliance and creativity. Art has become the defining feature of Burning Man, as the festival continues to be a testing ground for a growing circle of artists seeking engaged audiences. Their most compelling works are large-scale constructions that are burned at the end of the festival, and radically altered vehicles, or “art cars.”

Art at Burning Man, like the experience of being there itself, is a way of being outside routine existence: People return home rejuvenated and inspired to seek ways to express the spirit of the festival in their everyday lives. For more than a decade, A. Leo Nash has been creating a photographic document of this work, and in his photographs we see the wellspring of a new art movement.

Review:

"Nash's understated black and white photography gives an unexpected and intimate glimpse into Burning Man, the art-centric festival-community ('essentially a temporary city... of up to forty-thousand people') erected on an isolated stretch of Nevada desert every fall. Though it's known as much for hedonistic carousing as for art (if not moreso), Nash has been sleeping through the all-night parties for more than a decade so he can rise early and shoot artwork in the desert's morning light. More than a hundred of his stripped-down images are collected here, a strange and beautiful catalog of the structures, vehicles, monuments and performances dreamed up in the middle of nowhere. Writer and psychonaut Daniel Pinchbeck provides a brief introduction, but Nash's images are better complemented by his own plainspoken commentary, which focuses on the hard realities of putting on an event of Burning Man's magnitude: hazardous road trips, labor-intensive construction, infrastructure management, crowd control and the final clean up. Nash's singular, idiosyncratic perspective proves charming and frank; for instance, Nash isn't shy about tensions within the community (mainly between those who come early to build and latecomers who take the effort for granted). It's easy to imagine a lively collaborative volume on the festival, but by keeping things restrained, Nash provides a personal tour that gets to the heart of the spectacle." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Attendees at the yearly Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert erect a temporary city where partiers, performers, and artists mingle in numbers recently exceeding 40,000. The festival's signature large artistic structures, burnable sculptures, and "art cars" are the subject of Nash's 14 years worth of b&w Burning Man photographs. About 150 images are accompanied by text describing the inspiration for and experience of the art, as well as the feats of erecting, breaking down, and transporting each piece. Oversize: 11.75x8.5". Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Grady Harp, February 22, 2010 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
The Inconstancy of Art

For those unfamiliar with BURNING MAN, the promotional material for this annual unique art event is described here: 'Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. ' Or in other places 'Art at Burning Man, like the experience of being there itself, is a way of being outside routine existence: People return home rejuvenated and inspired to seek ways to express the spirit of the festival in their everyday lives.' And as Wikipedia expands 'The event starts on the Monday before and ends on the day of the American Labor Day holiday. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.' BURNING MAN: ART IN THE DESERT is as fine a documentation of this phenomenon as is available. The author is a photographer A. Leo Nash who with his funky photographic kinks has captured thirteen years of this week of art in the desert, and the results are exciting and rewarding.

This well designed and produced book offers insights into this ritual. The art created for this event varies from construction of found objects to three-dimensional sculptures brought or transported to the site for the fellow artists (and growing public of art lovers) to 'experience'. There is something about the light of the desert that transforms this work, making the whole seem more important than its component parts. And much of that art is due to Nash's experimental photography that has become very much a part of this episodic, temporary contemporary art exhibition/happening. Reading or viewing this beautifully slipcovered memento will likely result in an increased audience for this very fresh and invigorating art. Some of the works in the BURNING MAN have included the 1908 "The End" by Bob Marzewski, a very impressive huge sculpture of stacked blocks that spell out THE END. But the variety of what is here in this book will definitely entertain the reader and give further credence to the idea that great art can be of the moment, then dismantled and moved on. BURNING MAN says more about our current way of experiencing life than perhaps the artists and even A. Leo Nash expected. It is well worth the attention of everyone who craves creativity, even transient creative works.

Grady Harp
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780810992900
Author:
Nash, A Leo
Publisher:
ABRAMS
Photographer:
Nash, A. Leo
Introduction by:
Pinchbeck, Daniel
Introduction:
Pinchbeck, Daniel
Author:
Pinchbeck, Daniel
Author:
Nash, Leo A.
Author:
Nash, A. Leo
Subject:
General
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions
Subject:
Portrait photography
Subject:
Conceptual
Subject:
Performance art
Subject:
General Art
Subject:
Subjects & Themes - Travel - U.S./West
Subject:
Photoessays & Documentaries
Subject:
Burning Man; Black Rock; art; photography
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - General
Subject:
Performance art -- Nevada -- Black Rock Desert.
Subject:
Portrait photography - Nevada -
Subject:
Photography-Anthologies and History
Copyright:
Publication Date:
June 2007
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 8 up to 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
8.00 x 11.50 in
Age Level:
from 13 up to 99

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Folk Art
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Annuals
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Anthologies and History
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Burning Man: Art in the Desert New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$32.50 In Stock
Product details 160 pages HNA Books - English 9780810992900 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Nash's understated black and white photography gives an unexpected and intimate glimpse into Burning Man, the art-centric festival-community ('essentially a temporary city... of up to forty-thousand people') erected on an isolated stretch of Nevada desert every fall. Though it's known as much for hedonistic carousing as for art (if not moreso), Nash has been sleeping through the all-night parties for more than a decade so he can rise early and shoot artwork in the desert's morning light. More than a hundred of his stripped-down images are collected here, a strange and beautiful catalog of the structures, vehicles, monuments and performances dreamed up in the middle of nowhere. Writer and psychonaut Daniel Pinchbeck provides a brief introduction, but Nash's images are better complemented by his own plainspoken commentary, which focuses on the hard realities of putting on an event of Burning Man's magnitude: hazardous road trips, labor-intensive construction, infrastructure management, crowd control and the final clean up. Nash's singular, idiosyncratic perspective proves charming and frank; for instance, Nash isn't shy about tensions within the community (mainly between those who come early to build and latecomers who take the effort for granted). It's easy to imagine a lively collaborative volume on the festival, but by keeping things restrained, Nash provides a personal tour that gets to the heart of the spectacle." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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