Cerberus and the Styx Shiftphotograph from Burning Man, 1996

(shot on medium format film; archival pigment print 43 x 54)



featuring works from the early years of Burning Man and the Desert Siteworks Project (1992-1994)




Opening Reception: Saturday, June 25, 6-9 PM


SMITH ANDERSEN NORTH presents a selection of photographs by William Binzen that offers a rare slice of history when the site-specific works of Binzen's collaborative and ritual-based DESERT SITEWORKS (1992-94) helped transform the Burning Man event from its first outing on the playa as a weekend party in 1990 into the widely acclaimed, weeklong art festival it later became. The exhibition will also include a work by David Best, originator of the Temple structures at Burning Man (2000-present). The exhibition features Binzen's early photos of Burning Man and rare images of DESERT SITEWORKS shot on 8x10 film using double (or triple) exposures taken over the course of several hours, which create a liminal, other-worldly sense of space and time or magical realism that tells a story of the inner state of his experience.


"In these images you will find elements of fantasy, magical realism and surreal juxtapositions that express the pulsating ethos of Burning Man; the time-warped, psychic, conceptual, and altered-state nexus of spaces through which we burners drift on the playa."

- Wiliam Binzen


Black Rock Hot Springs-Blessed by Water Sprites and Submerged Neon-Commencing Desert Siteworks, 1992

(shot on 8 x 10 film; archival pigment print 24 x 30)


"Dada and surrealist performances and artworks use randomness and chance in a deliberate fashion, and at heart Binzen's layered images present us with the essential paradox posed by these earlier art movements: how to create enough order to survive long enough so that we can walk up to the edge of and even into chaos, and then return. There is no successful career as a human without personally experiencing this paradox, and Binzen has given us both a concrete example of how to do so, as well as documents of the process, which is one of the most extraordinary contemporary accomplishments to arise from the Black Rock Desert."

- William L. Fox, Director, Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art


Please join us for this special event at our opening reception on Saturday,  June 25, from 6-9 pm.