On Friday, a giant sculpture of a man and woman titled “Embrace” was burned to the ground at Burning Man.
Made from 160,000 lbs of wood, “Embrace” is a 72-foot-tall wooden cathedral-like sculpture on the same scale as the Statue of Liberty.
Built by The Pier Group with help from a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $US52,000, the giant sculpture is meant to be a “celebration of all our relationships.” All in, “Embrace” took about $266,000 and tons of volunteers to create.
But the area where sunlight previously streamed through the eyes of the 26-foot head was replaced by fire on Friday as the structure was ceremoniously burned to the ground.
It wasn’t long before the entire statue was engulfed in flames.
Here’s a view from further away, showing how much distance was actually between the burning structure and the people on the playa.
While many art sculptures are ignited at Burning Man, material must first be placed on a preapproved “burn platform,” elevated from the playa surface for the land’s protection.
As part of Burning Man’s “Leave No Trace Policy,” all remnants of the burn must be cleaned up and removed from the land at the end of the festival.
Watch the full video below (burn begins at 6:45).
When the “Embrace” Kickstarter first launched, lead artist Matthew Schultz explained: “We’ve already raised about $US106,000, but we still need to raise another $US160,000.”
According to the “Embrace” website, it wasn’t easy to raise the extra money:
“To make this whole operation happen we have independently raised funds, held fundraisers, used coordinators/volunteers, sold swag, operated a website, run advertising, created proposals, written grants, solicited transportation; engaged design, build team and lighting crews. In all, it has taken thousands of people-hours.”
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