Strong, dry winds blow over the desert, carrying along dust clouds. The dust is so dense that visibility is reduced almost to zero. The sun is shining, but it looks like another planet. Dust, a series realised by the French photographer Gabriel de la Chapelle, is captured as an ever-present attendee of the Burning Man festival.
An annual event taking place in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, Burning Man is a week-long journey into a collective experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. Its desert location guarantees challenges of survival, and Burning Man visitors – "burners" – have learned to count on the dangers, including dust clouds. It is almost an unwritten rule to wear goggles and dust masks. The combination of these dust masks and the sand creeping in all possible places and gaps, suffocating all, makes it feel like a sci-fi alternative world: we are no longer at Burning Man, but a place in the distant future or past, where fantastical shapes loom out of a dusty mist.