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Second phase of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man opens June 7 at the Cincinnati Art Museum

6/5/2019 12:00:00 AM

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CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Art Museum has already hosted tens of thousands of visitors who have experienced the first phase of the No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.

The second phase of the exhibition showcases dozens of new additional pieces, starting Friday, June 7. Both phases will close September 2, 2019.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man offers stunning, sometimes participatory artworks that have emerged from the annual desert gathering by many of the artists and collectives associated with the event.

Phase I, which opened April 26, includes many large-scale installations and sculptures including Shrumen Lumen (Foldhaus), Truth is Beauty (Marco Cochrane), Evotrope (Richard Wilkes), Paper Arch (Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti), Tin Pan Dragon (Duane Flatmo), Gamelatron (Aaron Taylor Kuffner), Capitol Theater (Five Ton Crane), Nova (Christopher Schardt), Lake of Dreams (Roy Two Thousand), and a showing of the Nevada Museum of Art’s City of Dust, featuring historical archives, photography and ephemera.

Phase II will feature an array of additional artworks and include more room-sized installations, eclectic couture and both intimate and large scale photographs—including some submitted by Burning Man participants responding to an Open Call organized exclusively by the Cincinnati Art Museum. Visitors can share their dreams by writing on the museum walls with Candy Chang’s Before I Die; immerse themselves in the patterns and lights of Hybycozo’s geometric shapes, and delight in the interplay between fashionable headdresses made for the Playa and Android Jones’ intergalactic prints.

Phase II also includes an outdoor artwork designed by a group of students from the University of Cincinnati (UC) under the leadership of Samantha Krukowski, a faculty member at UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Described as “a space that honors memory, emotion, experience and transformation," the artwork is built entirely from invasive honeysuckle harvested from the museum grounds. Named InVasive, it was assembled with the help of volunteers from UC, the local community, and regional Burning Man networks.

Visitors to InVasive are encouraged to engage in ways that quietly celebrate the complexities and challenges of existence. Stillness, meditation, offerings and ceremonial actions are only some ways to create meaning, which gains its value through interactions. On the playa where the Burning Man event takes place, Temple-goers leave mementos, photographs, letters, and other meaningful personal objects. Visitors to InVasive are invited to leave their own stories, allowing them to be woven into the place, held by the community and released with the temple itself at the close of the exhibition.

Visitors are encouraged to share videos and pictures of their experiences at the museum so it can be turned into a video by multi-media company red c media. It can be submitted at

Tickets are still available to Beyond Black Rock, a fundraising event on June 7 from 7–11 p.m., organized and hosted by the CAM catalysts, a group of young professional museum supporters. Tickets provide exclusive after-hours access to the exhibition, food from local eateries, drinks, live music and entertainment. Proceeds from Beyond Black Rock will empower the museum to bring dynamic art exhibitions to Cincinnati, as well as support the thousands of free public programs we offer each year including Wee Wednesday, Autism Family Exploration and REC Reads, that make art accessible to everyone. Beyond Black Rock tickets are $75 per person and are available online and at the door.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Burning Man Project, the nonprofit organization responsible for producing the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, Nevada. Following the presentation in Cincinnati, the exhibition moves to the Oakland Museum of California from October 12, 2019–February 16, 2020.

Consistent with the Burning Man principle of Gifting, the entire exhibition is on view to the public for free. General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is also free. Support for the Cincinnati presentation of this exhibition is provided by the August A. Rendigs, Jr. Foundation.

The museums especially thank colleagues from the Burning Man Project, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, for their close collaboration and assistance throughout the preparation of this exhibition and tour.


Image credit: Candy Chang, Before I Die (detail), 2011, New Orleans, LA. Image courtesy of the artist.


About the Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to Artswave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati, as well as our members.

Free general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is made possible by a gift from the Rosenthal Family Foundation. Special exhibition pricing may vary. Parking at the Cincinnati Art Museum is free. The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Thursday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

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