Burning Man Metropolis: For the Ladies

By Josh Keppel
|  Sunday, Sep 12, 2010  |  Updated 1:58 AM PDT
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Treasure Island Erupts in Flame, Music, Light

Josh Keppel

Nikki Marchand from Temple Valley, Oahu, HI poses for a photo in front of Bliss Dance, a 40-foot-tall sculpture. “She Called me over and said, ‘You wanna dance with me baby?’ She’s beautiful!,” Marchand said.

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One of the most talked about art pieces at Burning Man Metropolis was Bliss Dance, a 40-foot-tall woman dancing on one leg, built on Treasure Island.

The piece has been attracting women and men from all over Black Rock City, and designer Marco Cochrane couldn’t be more pleased.

"When I first got here [to Black Rock City] in 2007, I felt like there needed to be more feminity," Cochrane told a group of journalists on Thursday afternoon in front of his sculpture, and he did something about it.

The sculpture, weighing in at 7,000 pounds with 55,000 individual welds, looks to be the largest female nude figure in the world, and it had a constant crowd of onlookers gawking at her beauty, with women especially pleased to see a powerful show of beauty and art centered on the female form.

Right near Bliss Dance was the Temple of Flux, a beautiful canyon of wood between five structures.

A three-person team from the Bay Area, consisting of two women, Jess Hobbs and Rebecca Anders, and one man, PK Kimelman, designed and built this year’s Temple.  It was interesting to see how completely different it was from the Temples of year’s past, with an obvious female energy replacing the taller spires we were once used to.

A little closer to the Esplanade was The Infinitarium, an incredible botanic garden where people were dwarfed by the metal plantlife sculptures, designed by familiar Burning Man large-scale artists Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann.

Burning Man has been a place of self-expression since its existence, and it is nice to see that women are now being included at the table when big pieces like the temple are being considered, designed and built.  (It should be noted that Bliss Dance and the Infinitarium were self-funded and not one of the 36 art pieces funded by Buring Man.)

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