Whiteout

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Created: 11/30/11
Last Edited: 02/26/13
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Description
"Whiteout" is a series photographed for the last 3 years at the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. When the whiteouts - sand winds - start, they take over the landscape and one is at the mercy of the environment. It is at those moments, when the people are completely engulfed in the fine, white dust that for a few minutes blocks out the sun, that one is completely alone. These are the moments of serenity and silence, intimacy and perseverance. Once the wind subsides, glimpses of the surroundings are revealed, and one by one people and objects emerge out of the fog.
  • The barren emptiness of the desert is devoid of sentiment. There is no poetry in the dried up surface, no melancholy stirred up by the gusts of fine sand. On a beach or in a forest, in a green field or in an architectural wonder of a city, one is overwhelmed by the beauty of the environment, the lyricism of associations and memories. But in the sudden vacuum of a desert whiteout there is only isolation.

    As the sun is blocked out by the dust and the horizon is swept away, the first anxious moment of helplessness metamorphoses into a feeling of unbounded freedom. In this vast, disorienting silence, one is left entirely to the immediacy of the experience.

    It is rare to find a space lacking the external noise of over-stimulation. But it is necessary in order to hear oneself better. The isolation of the whiteout brings introspection and resets the senses. The sterility of the desert becomes an oasis.

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