I’m excited to present to you one of my favorite art installations at Burning Man 2011. This year’s theme was Rites of Passage, so artist Peter Hudson from San Francisco created the Charon to focus on the last rite of human passage: death. Although seeing the gondolier to the after life is a bit eerie, the doves that outline the circle give artwork a more peaceful tone.
Burninman.com gives more of an explanation of the Charon:
“This piece will physically engage participants in a vigorous genuflection of sorts to bring life to Charon, the gondolier to the afterlife. Charon asks them to reflect on their own mortality and ponder how to give and get the most from their brief time here on earth. The artist’s hope is that they will not dwell on their ultimate demise, but ponder how they might make their own lives richer and more meaningful. Recent losses in the artist’s life give him reason to consider the piece a final farewell and bon voyage to those who are cherished, gone but not forgotten.”
The bell that comes with the Charon has a serious tone, and the whole piece becomes even more enchanting. It’s definitely something I have never seen anywhere else. This artwork represents a lot of my experience at Burning Man: peaceful, calm, unique, enchanting, grand, acceptance, out of this world…I can go on forever.
What do you think of the Charon? Were you fortunate enough to go to Burning Man this year? What was your favorite art installation?