Philip Volkers reveals magic of Burning Man in new book
The long-time photographer of the mystical Nevada festival brings his work to London to coincide with his new collection
This week, 70,000 people have descended upon the remotest reaches of the Nevada desert for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival, one of the most unique - and notorious - events in the Western world.
Starting out in 1986 as a small hippy gathering in the desert, it has exploded in popularity in the decades since, attracting partygoers and artists from far and wide to the temporary settlement of Black Rock City, which the festival describes as a “metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance”.
The event is seen as a subversive and innovative breeding ground of artistry, ranging from outsider performance art to mainstream DJ sets, framed by the spectacular backdrop of Nevada.
And few have captured the chaotic spirit of Burning Man more coherently than British photographer Philip Volkers, who has been snapping images of the desert get-together for more than a decade, tying together everything the festival has to offer, from the mainstream to thequirky.
To celebrate the release of his newest photography collection Dust to Dawn, a selection of Volkers’ works will be exhibited at the Bermondsey Project Space from 11 to 15 September, focusing on photos he took during the “golden hours” of sunrise or sunset.
Volkers said: “I have always had a fascination with human gatherings and what first attracted me to Burning Man is that it is one of the only places on Earth that transgresses commodification; a place where people from across the globe are stripped of social crutches such as mobile phones and gather to push themselves to the limits of survival and expression.
“Having been part of Burning man for ten years, I have seen it evolve into the global phenomenon that it is today but at its core the fundamentals of what Burning Man stands for remain the same, and Dust to Dawn and the exhibition is my way of celebrating Burning Man and revealing a little of the magic that lies under its surface.”
For more information kehrerverlag.com