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No Spectators: You Can Now See Burning Man Art at the Smithsonian

no spectators the paper arch burning man art

Anyone who has ever wanted to see the famous art of Burning Man, but never been able to take the plunge is now in luck. An exhibit at the Renwick Gallery of Smithsonian American Art is featuring large scale installations from Black Rock City in an exhibition titled No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.

The exhibit features works of art by Android Jones, Candy Chang, Marco Cochrane, Duane Flatmo, and many others on its first floor. Just upstairs on the second floor, you’ll see work by the likes of David Best, FoldHaus Art Collective, Aaron Taylor Kuffner, HYBYCOZO (Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu), Christopher Schardt, and Leo Villareal.

The exhibit is named after facets of the 10 Principles of Burning Man. The idea of no spectators comes from the principle of radical participation and inclusion. Opened on March 30 2018, the exhibit also features an outdoor exhibit known as No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick, showing through December 2018.

The Burning Man community was instrumental in choosing the arts included. The outdoor exhibition is in partnership with the Washington, D.C.’s Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. The entire exhibit is organized by Nora Atkinson, the gallery’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft.

“No Spectators’ is a long-standing saying on Playa. You are encouraged to fully participate,” says 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 radical inclusivity, meaning that there are no outsiders. Everyone is part of the experience.”

The institute is also glad to show off these amazing pieces of art. They describe Burning Man as “a cultural movement and a thriving temporary city of more than 75,000 people” and “a uniquely American hotbed of artistic ingenuity.”

“These artists represent the creative spirit of the contemporary maker movement and the ongoing importance of craft in the digital age,” Atkinson said. “They range from members of the art world, the tech community and beyond. Their work asks questions such as ‘what does art look like when it is separated from commercial value?’ and ‘why do we continue to make in the 21st century?’”

Though this year’s big burn sold out, the exhibit is free to the public. The first floor will be on display until September 16, 2018 and the second floor will close January 21, 2019.

What do you think of the exhibit? Will you viewing it out this year? Let us know in the comments!

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