Embrace was a unique art installation that featured at Burning Man 2014, and the tale behind it is uniquely mesmerising.
A lone 72 ft wooden cathedral-like sculpture of two human figures stood erect on the grounds of Burning Man in 2014. The intertwining sculptures of a tree-man and woman at that marvellous height was a sight to behold! They called it “Embrace”….
Burning Man prides itself on being a unique celebration within its kind that takes place in Black Rock City at Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Every year in the month of August the desert transforms and embraces the rise of a temporary magical city known as Black Rock City in accordance to host the massive Burning Man Festival.
The festival that began in 1986 and that was started by a group of friends rests itself upon certain principles that are- “radical” inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace. The annual festival is known for its not so subtle and impactful art. “Embrace” is one such art installation that stands out over the years.
Here are some facts about this unique 72 ft sculpture:
1. It Began As A Kickstarter Project
It began as a Kickstarter project and was an art attempt by The Pier Group who are known to have extensive art installations at the festival. It raised over $52,000 and took about $266,000 and tons of volunteers to create. Watch Matthew Schultz talk about the art installation and his personal philosophy behind the idea of the massive art installation.
2. It Symbolises And Honours All The Relationships In Our Lives
The sculpture is made to honor all of the relationships in our lives, a pilgrimage route through our bodies and our minds. The Man represents a celebration of the future and the Temple represents a release from the past. It serves as a reminder of the people you love, the people you have lost, family and friends and everyone in between.
3. It Takes Its Audience On An Artistic And Spiritual Experience
“Embrace” was meant to be an artistic and spiritual experience for audiences to indulge in and reflect upon themselves. The installation is based on two massive cathedral structures that have two artistically created hearts hanging from the inner skeletal roof. The unique inner installations beat and pulse and also reflect the sun’s light to cast a colourful visage within the mangrove structure.
4. The Art Installation Was A Massive Volunteer Effort!
Burning Man celebrates its philosophy of self expression and united community efforts, and such was the case of “Embrace” being installed as well. Backed by a number of volunteers at the festival and many even gathered through Kickstarter, the art installation took an overwhelmingly long period to set up.
5. Skin To Bones, Steel To Rust!
On the final day of the Burning Man extravaganza, keeping with the Burning Man mantra of ‘leaving no trace behind’, all art installations are burned to the ground and cleared away. Festival attendees were mesmerised in 2014 when the “Embrace”art piece was set on fire. It was a magnificent and poetic sight to behold, and one that went down as one of the most iconic art moments in the history of Burning Man!
Burning Man returns to the deserts of Nevada in 2017 and is expected to open its gates on April 27th until September 4th. As always, much is being expected out of this ethereal festival experience and we urge you to keep an eye out for such unique art pieces!
You can find out more details about the festival on their Facebook page.
Grab your tickets here to be a part of the experience!