Dust and Light: The Burning Man Collection

Exhibition running till November 20, 2016 @ Nikon Photo Gallery

Czech photographer, Marek Musil brings Nevada’s magical creation of dirt and desert to life in Prague with his collection Dust and Light: The Burning Man Collection, now showing at the Nikon Photo Gallery until November 20th.

What began in 1986 as a summer solstice bonfire in San Francisco, Burning Man has grown into one of the world’s most notorious, dangerous, and eclectic music and lifestyle festivals dedicated to self-expression and self-reliance.

Every year, during the first week of September, over 50,000 attendees make their way to Black Rock– otherwise known as the middle of nowhere. Far from the confines of social norms, “burners” are free to wear wire reindeer antlers, full suited armor, or almost nothing at all.

Musil’s photographs capture what appears to be an alternative universe – with transportation ranging from a basic bicycle to a giant glow-in-the-dark fishmobile. A photo of five giant mushrooms is captioned “Shrumen Lumen” – a literal reference to the seemingly normal giant mushrooms and a more obvious reference to drug usage at the festival. The pictures are so vivid and obscure; they look like they could have been part of the film treatment for Steven Spielberg’s 2001 movie, “Artificial Intelligence”.

Just as festival-goers seek a change from their daily lives, Musil’s Burning Man collection is different than his usual focus on fashion photography. Musil (born 1974) has photographed for an impressive list of Czech magazines including, Elle, Esquire, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar. While Musil continues to photograph Czech models and actors, his personal focus is on capturing the world’s authenticity, an undeniable feature of every subject in his Burning Man collection.

While gazing into each photograph in Dust and Light: The Burning Man Collection, the viewer yearns to know more about the characters. What do they wear in real life? Where do they work? How did they end up at Burning Man? A quote featured under a slideshow of people in outrageous outfits seems to suggest that such sensible questions do not matter. Musil says, “All the people I met at burning Man told me that the way they look, the costumes they wear are the reflection of their inner SELVES. Their selves they cannot fully reveal in their daily lives. I think I understand them.”

Admission to the Nikon Photo Gallery is free of charge. More information can be found at www.nikonphotogallery.cz

Újezd 19, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 12-7pm

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