A photograph by Bill Brown at the Burning Man Festival, image of Punto de Vista International Seminar 2012
Desert Woman (Bill Brown)
Bill Brown has been travelling USA for the past 20 years in search of the marks left by History (with a capital H and stories of hundreds of anonymous dwellers) on landscape and architecture. As an artist on the move, working on the basis of an empathic relationship with the places he lives in, Brown has always avoided big cities, where his work could have a higher value (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco), choosing the Midwest, the South or even Canada instead. His creative work suits local communities and the production possibilities of spaces. Brown collaborated with Punto de Vista back in 2010, on the Festival’s 6th edition, writing an essay for the Punto de Vista Collection volume Signal Fires: The Cinema of Jem Cohen.
The snapshot chosen to illustrate the Punto de Vista International Seminar 2012 was taken by Brown in the summer of 1999 during the Burning Man Festival – a unique event held in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, drawing thousands of people to celebrate community creation, independent art and individual artistic expressions. A free and committed non-profit festival with no financial support from institutions.
Brown’s snapshot chosen as this year’s seminar’s illustration shows a huge balloon with the shape of a woman’s body and face which, when rocked by the wind, seems to be making an odd gesture. A mix of portrait and construction, on the divide between the ordinary and the disturbing, capturing the ephemeral expression of collective art, it matches the seminar’s philosophy as a reflection on images and what they depict.