Black Rock Horse, directed by Todd Darling. The film documents the misadventures of installation artists Alaya Boisvert and Douglas Bevans as they attempt to stage the burning of a Trojan Horse replica at the 2011 Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada.
The wooden horse is 52 feet high and 44 feet long, and it weighs more than 26 tons. As the film opens, Darling exposes the beast’s innards. Inside is a sort of dance party “fuelled by absinthe.” It looks remarkably spacious, but that is likely a trick of Darling’s cinematography. Outlined with neon lights and complete with a bar inside, the installation is aesthetically interesting. In the daylight, the edifice draws a cast of Trojan soldiers and a variety of beautiful young women dressed as Trojan princesses or goddesses. The festival called for volunteer “slaves” to drag the horse across several hundred metres with two-inch thick, fifty-foot ropes to its final destination, where it would be burned to the ground.
The goal of the Trojan Horse was to create the largest piece of interactive performance art ever in Black Rock City. The budget was in the tens, not hundreds of thousands. They had 260 volunteers for their casting call for soldiers, slaves, and other Trojan parts. And sparks shot out its butt!
The Trojan Horse project was made all the more amazing by the artist’s peculiar handicap, which I wasn’t aware of until I saw this video. I think this is what happens if you go straight from the Playa to Jack in the Box. I wonder if this character will be in the documentary a lot?
You can buy the DVD here for $20.