9.15.2011

rites of passage: the trojan horse

during this year's burn, an enormous trojan horse stood majestically at the end of my street...



this gigantic creation was built by an amazing team of artists who describe the project using these words...

A giant, 28-ton horse stands, dark and menacing, its head nearly 50′ above the playa. During the day, it casts an ominous shadow and is the scene of much imaginative interactivity as costumed members of Troy Camp and volunteers from all over the world play Greek gods and goddesses and characters from the Trojan War. At night, the horse glows malevolently from its core and a surrealistic room opens in its belly that will stimulate and challenge the five senses. Created by artists, architects, engineers, and others from around the world, this magnificent structure is designed to reflect Burning Man’s 2011 themeRites of Passage.

The Trojan Horse will undergo its own rites (and rights) of passage Friday night. Accompanied by an immense brass and drum corpsthe masses will pull the beast from the Esplanade through the Gates of Troy and into the Temple of Dionysius. There it will be consumed by a spectacular conflagration. The sheer size, artistic power, innovative technology, and theatrical elements of this installation will make it a memorable part of Burning Man 2011.


the trojan horse was illuminated at night and became the landmark which my campmates and i searched for when trying to find our way home...





{the last night of the horse}

on friday evening, three of my awesome campmates dressed in togas and joined hundreds of slaves which pulled the huge beast all the way out to the middle of the playa...


{slaves pulling the horse}

finally, on friday night, the trojan horse was the centerpiece of a spectacular fireworks display. it was ultimately surrounded by archers shooting flaming arrows which ignited it into an incredibly hot raging fire...



we all watched the burn up close while standing on the fish and i was admittedly a wee bit scared. it was the largest and most intense fire i have ever personally witnessed, with powerful billowing flames pouring out of the horse's belly. we were close enough to feel pulsing waves of heat. it was absolutely exhilarating, though. and magnificent. so very magnificent.

as a luminous landmark, an impressive hunk of structural art, an ongoing interactive performance piece, and a creation with a fiery finale, i loved the whole experience of the trojan horse.