The Smithsonian is doing an exhibit on Burning Man

Published March 23, 2018


IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Fire extinguishers at the ready: Burning Man is coming to the Smithsonian. The Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum will try to capture the vibrant spirit of this bohemian desert festival in their upcoming exhibition, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” which opens March 30th.

The exhibition will showcase large-scale installations that exemplify the ambitious self-expression and collaboration of the various artists and collectives who attend the gathering. Ranging from sculptures and light installations to virtual reality experiences and immersive temples, the exhibition challenges the venerable white walls of a cultural institution like the Smithsonian. In the spirit of collaboration, featured artists have had to adhere to some non-Burning-Man-esque safety standards (flame-retardant installations), while the Smithsonian has even enlisted the help of Burners (the name given to festival-goers) to act as gallery volunteers to help interpret and guide museum-goers’ experiences.

“No Spectators” brings the radical cultural movement of Burning Man out of the Black Rock Desert for the general public to enjoy. No need to camp out in the Nevada desert to experience the radical creative energy of the annual festival—just head to the Renwick Gallery. Will MoMa retaliate with a Fyre Festival tribute? Only time will tell.