Friday, July 13, 2007

Book Burning, Man

In the interest of full disclosure, let me state the following: I have not gone, nor do I ever intend to ever go, to Burning Man, which is scheduled August 27 - September 4 this year. There are many reasons behind my reluctance, not the least of which is my strong aversion to placing myself in situations completely out of my control and difficult to extricate myself from, much less a huge gathering of less-than-sober strangers in the Nevada desert. Photographer Leo Nash has been attending Burning Man for over a decade, rising early in the morning each day to document the bizarre and wonderful assortment of vehicles, structures, and other constructions that often defy description. The nature of his subject — like the festival itself — is fleeting, yet through Nash’s understated black & white compositions, you can see each surreal flight of fancy captured in time prior to being put to the torch. Nash released a hard-bound compilation of photographs in Burning Man: Art in the Desert that is worth reviewing if only to appreciate the book’s unique matchbox design, if not its contents.

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