Top 3: The Art of Burning Man

So, I decided to share what I think are the three most incredible pieces of art ever installed at Burning Man, since this heathen desert festival, which will be celebrated this month, inspires me daily as I write the forthcoming second book in The Oldest Soul Trilogy.

I’m as intrigued as I am terrified of the whole idea of Burning Man and remain fairly certain I’ll be abducted by aliens if I ever attempt to go, which, just obviously makes me the best most qualified person to rank and interpret this art for you. That and the fact that I’ve never actually seen any of it in person nor am I acquainted with a single soul who has.

So, without further delay, my much anticipated list!

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#3. Titled simply, ‘Love,’ by sculptor Alexander Milov, this one features two wire-frame adults sitting back to back with their inner children, or as I see it, their souls, reaching out to each other from within. Milov says, “It demonstrates a conflict between a man and a woman as well as the outer and inner expression of human nature. Their inner selves are in the form of transparent children, holding out their hands through the grating.”

I find ‘love’ really haunting and really sad. It makes me imagine that if our souls do get annoyed and frustrated with us from deep within, they must be annoyed and frustrated at all the time we waste swept up by things like pride and wanting to be right.

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#2. This one’s called Key Note—it’s made entirely of locks, all kind of locks. From bike locks to padlocks, even his face is nothing but a giant keyhole, his mind presumably locked as he drags an enormous key behind him, paying it no attention. “He’s in search of another key,” the artists says, the right key.”

Guys, if this is not the paradox of life as we know it I don’t know what is.

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#1. The Temple of Hope is one of only a couple of art pieces that are a part of Burning Man every year. It’s a place where everyone is invited to come and leave mementos or write on the wall of the temple itself issues that are troubling them in their lives. Supposedly, you can feel the emotion in this place the moment you enter and people weep in corners as they pour out their souls. On the last night the temple is burned to symbolize the release of all these troubles, worries and fears left within its walls. It’s said that people are completely silent for the entire duration of the burning to show their respect for the great release of emotion.

This is clearly where my alien abduction would go down, but experiencing this thing in person would probably make getting my brain sucked out through my ear totally worth it.

Something about the temple’s shape, and the way it cocoons at the end intrigues me so much that I have to wonder how badly my neighbors are really going to mind when I build one of these babies in my backyard, spend a few days curled in the back corner wailing and sobbing like a fool and scribbling on the walls like a mad women, then torch it and dance around as it burns, while possibly howling at the moonlight…

They’ll probably mind a lot.

I may just have to suck it up and go!

Tiffany FitzHenry, Author

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