Starting November 10, the National Mall will host a three-day festival, called “Catharsis on the Mall,” that hopes to promote art, self-expression, and equal rights for women. Along with the series of events, there were plans for a 45-foot-tall sculpture, called “R-Evolution,” that was previously seen at Burning Man in 2015, created by artist Marco Cochrane. The hope was to have the statue by the Washington Monument, facing the White House, from November 2017 through March 2018. In October 2017, the National Park Service denied the permit for the statue, but not all is lost.
According to the Washington Post, the organizers behind the festival are now requesting a permit for a 26-foot-tall scaffold covered on two sides by 26-foot-tall digitized portraits of a nude woman. The purpose of the image is to promote female empowerment. During the festival, visitors who are female will also be able to take photos of themselves at a tent in order to have the images projected onto the woman on the scaffold.
The organizers of the festival are currently considering filing a lawsuit, claiming that the National Park Service infringed on their First Amendment rights. In a statement, the National Park Service said the permit was rejected as it could have caused “significant damage to and require replacement of the underlying turf and soil.”
The events that the National Park Service did approve include a temple and prayer wheel burn ceremony, “Abraxas Dragon and Solar Beatz mutant” vehicle stages, Water Temple Pyramid, and dozens of other artworks and offerings. This year’s theme for “Catharsis on the Mall” is “Nurturing the Heart.”
The recent efforts to bring the statue to D.C. are not affiliated with Burning Man or its regional events. This project is sponsored by the nonprofit arts organization Flux Foundation.
For images of the proposed 26-foot-tall digital artwork, check out the Washington Post.