Exhibition

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
October 12, 2019–February 16, 2020

Marvel at the spectacular artwork and large-scale installations from one of the most widely-celebrated cultural events in the world when No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man takes over OMCA in Fall of 2019. Each year the weeklong Burning Man event attracts over 70,000 people to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Participants create and build Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis where experimental art installations—some ritually burned to the ground—are the centerpiece for innovators, makers, and a burgeoning artistic community. The exhibition will illuminate the values of Burning Man through its guiding Ten Principles: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, and Immediacy.

The immersive and multi-sensory experience will extend beyond the gallery walls into the Museum’s public spaces—including an OMCA-commissioned 40-foot-tall outdoor temple by internationally-acclaimed sculptor David Best. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, No Spectators will make its final stop at OMCA after traveling to the Cincinnati Art Museum. The exhibition will feature many works by Bay Area artists including jewelry, costumes, “mutant” vehicles, sculptures, photography, and paintings. The companion exhibition within the gallery, City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man, organized by the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, will trace Burning Man's origins from its countercultural roots in the San Francisco Bay Area to the world-famous desert gathering it is today. 

Don’t miss the West Coast debut of the first major museum exhibition of its kind and join in the celebration of Burning Man’s deep connections to California and the Bay Area.

 

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man is organized by the Nevada Museum of Art.

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

Support for the Oakland presentation of this exhibition is provided by Frances Hellman and Warren Breslau and the Oakland Museum Women’s Board. Additional support is provided by Ruth and Roger Wu.

Lead support for the exhibition was provided by Intel and Bently Foundation. Support for the exhibition’s tour is provided by the C. F. Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia, and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund.