By Nevada Museum of Art
City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man, the recently-opened exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, explores the story of how the legendary Nevada gathering evolved through collaborative ritual from humble countercultural roots on San Francisco’s Baker Beach into the world-famous desert convergence it is today.
Borrowing methods from anthropology and archaeology, this exhibition relies on primary source materials such as archives, artifacts, journals, sketches and notebooks. These historical items trace the civic growth and development of Burning Man’s temporary city in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The exhibition also acknowledges Burning Man‘s global impact and touches on what the future may hold for Burning Man Project.
While some of the materials are on loan from private collections, most are drawn from the Archive Collections of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. The museum is home to the largest publicly held collection of Burning Man archives anywhere, and researchers travel from around the world to study these materials while seeking to better understand Burning Man’s legacy.
To begin this narrative, the exhibition curators amassed more than 300 objects from the personal collections of Burning Man Project founders, early instigators, artists and global participants. These objects will surely catalyze a cavalcade of memories for visitors. Whether you have been burning since the beginning or have only recently joined the community, it’s worth visiting this show and reveling in this remarkable history.
Still, this exhibition is only beginning to unravel the story. Through City of Dust, the Nevada Museum of Art hopes not only to shine a light on this vibrant, participatory community, but also to illustrate how its radically experimental nature connects to the desert and to the region of the Greater West.
City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man is on view at the Nevada Museum of Art in downtown Reno, Nevada until January 7, 2018. Over the next several months, the Museum will host numerous engaging talks and special programs that not only shine a light on the myriad stories entwined in this evolution, but that also connect it to a global conversation.
If you are around this week, join us for the First Thursday Burning Man Celebration on Thursday, July 6, from 5 to 7 pm, at the Museum.