Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Burning Desire 

Wednesday, Jul 29 1998
Comments
An exact replica of the original Burning Man, the 8-foot effigy that Larry Harvey built and set fire to in 1986 at Baker Beach in front of 20 people, will be erected at "The Art of Burning Man: An Incendiary Exhibit," a group show on display through Aug. 29 at three San Francisco Art Commission spaces. The Original Man, as he's called, will be burned at the original site on Sept. 6, bringing a cataclysmic end to the exhibit, related pre-Burning Man activities, and, in spirit, the actual Burning Man festival, which will set ablaze its own 40-foot Man. Those original 20 spectators couldn't have known that the summer solstice ritual unfolding in front of them would grow to such huge proportions that it would have to be moved to the baking playa of Nevada's Black Rock Desert, where for one pre-Labor Day weekend every year, thousands of people would converge and set up themed camps. Burning Man has since become its own transient town, Black Rock City, with a radio station, opera company, newspaper, Web site, and international population. Through photographs, sculpture, paintings, and a film festival featuring movies shot at Burning Man, this exhibit documents the event's inventive nature, which gave way to motorized furniture and a sundial made from a giant ball of ice embedded with ticking clocks, among other creations. This year's Man will also be displayed before he is trucked over state lines to meet his fiery death. A reception for the exhibit will evolve into a fire dance ritual and public procession, as 16 hooded monklike figures bear a flaming chalice through Civic Center to Lech Walesa Alley (between Van Ness and Polk), where a nighttime street fair will attempt to re-create a Burning Man for local urbanites. The fire-eating performance group AWD, the Sprocket Ensemble, and Circus Baraka will perform, and Pepe Ozan and the Burning Man Opera Crew will present an excerpt from their original opera The Temple of Rudra before staging it two weeks later with a cast of hundreds under the stars. The reception begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free-$3. Art will also be shown beginning Wednesday at Exploration City Site (165 Grove) and the 155 Grove Street Windows, and Harvey will host a lecture and video/slide presentation at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 6 in Koret Auditorium at the Main Library, 100 Larkin, S.F. Admission is free. Call (650) 985-7471 for more information.

-- Heather Wisner

About The Author

Heather Wisner

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Third Eye Blind @ The Masonic
    Third Eye Blind performed on Sunday, July 26 at The Masonic to a sold out show with the support of Dashboard Confessional & Ex-Cops. Photographs by Christopher Victorio.
  • Morrissey @ San Jose Events Center
    The last stop for Morrissey serenaded the sold out crowd during his only Northern California date on Saturday, July 25 at the San Jose Events Center. Photographs by Christopher Victorio.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed