On more than one occasion I’ve been traveling westbound on Hwy 80 leaving the Lake Tahoe area and seen an abundance of strange looking cars covered in a peculiar white dust. Turns out that these are the folks returning from their annual Burning Man pilgrimage. Burning Man is an event which takes place in Nevada’s Black Rock Dessert each year around the end of August/beginning of September. Their website describes the event as, “…dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.” I found out about it years ago when I worked with a girl who attended it. When I asked what it was, my then boss stepped in to inform me that it was, “…a bunch of naked hippies dancing around in the desert.”
I’ve not yet been, but apparently there is some truth to that statement. However, as one not prone to keep tabs on Burning Man culture, I was surprised in recent years to hear that it is, in addition to being a giant “rager”, also an event which is truly committed to artistic expression. Below you’ll find a link to a picture from this year’s Burning Man 2013. The exhibit is called “The Church Trap” and was built by California artist Rebekah Waites. The original photograph was beautifully captured by a photographer named Jessica Carpenter: http://500px.com/photo/4549250
If art is meant to get you thinking, than I’m willing to call this one a success. I’m not outright approving of the messages these artists may be trying to convey, but I’m certainly not rejecting them either. Throughout history, art has been used to speak to establishments and culture. I’m wondering, what message is being sent to the church through this both by secular culture and emerging generations? Whether those messages are criticisms, endorsements, prophetically correct, or dramatically wrong, I am curious to hear if there is something in this that we should be paying attention to.
You can find out more about the The Church Trap and the artist(s) who built it here.