French Burning Man Artist Pays Homage To A Legend

Aug 26, 2019

The annual Burning Man festival is underway this week; however, the process of getting the artwork ready has been going on for months. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke with one artist before he set out for the playa.

Artist Marc Ippon de Ronda grabs a bag of bolts for a giant sculpture he’s been working on called, “Fragments.” He’s from Paris, but over the past month he’s been working at Fusion Craft Works, a metal shop in Reno. He says this piece is based off of ancient lore.

“The legend says that in ancient times, a goddess gave a great giant a magic mirror that allowed him to see into the future. Frightened by what he could foresee, [he] decided to break the mirror and the shards of fragments fell into the ground and landed on the desert floor. Thousands of years later, at the age of men, the set was rediscovered and it is said that if you climb the highest fragment at sunrise, you'll be able to see your future,” Ippon de Ronda said.

The blueprints for the staircase in "Fragments," hanging on a wall at Fusion Craft Works.
Credit Lucia Starbuck

Like much of Burning Man artwork, this piece is larger than life with towering reflective triangles sticking out of the ground. Even though it’s based off of a legend, the piece looks futuristic because it’s made out of stainless steel and mirrors, and in the middle, sits a rusty orange staircase that burners can climb. Ippon de Ronda says that Burning Man is the perfect destination to showcase his work.

“I wanted to find a site that was very minimalistic and the playa's just that, right? It's a plain, you see reflections very, very far, but there is nothing. I think it allows you really to reflect on your inner self,” Ippon de Ronda said.

“Fragments” received a grant from the Black Rock City Honoraria Program, which partially funds specific art projects for Burning Man. This is Ippon de Ronda’s first burn.

MARC IPPON DE RONDA, Fragments, 2019 from ATO on Vimeo.