Friday, September 5, 2008

Burning Man: Basura Sagrada Temple

The Basura Sagrada temple, which, in keeping with Burning Man tradition, burned on Sunday night. Shot during the day on Saturday, just before the whiteout. Soundtrack from Burial, Julee Cruise, and Angelo Badalamenti.

Burners devoted the temple to people who they lost that year - family, friends, and lovers who had passed away. (And one well-missed dog.) Pictures of the departed, their names, messages which would never reach them, and in a few cases clothes they would never wear again, covered most of the structure, along with the names of ex-girlfriends and -boyfriends, random stickers, and written notes ranging from "I wish I had a pen" to "I always feel lonely here." A lone cellist played with an amp and effects.

The wind turned into a dust storm and then a whiteout. During the whiteout I was unable to see the temple, and at times unable to see things less than ten feet away. When I left the temple, the dust obscured so much that the temple had become invisible.

When the Man burned on Saturday, everybody was laughing, cheering, yelling, and talking. When the temple burned, everyone was silent, except for one drunk girl with a megaphone.