David Sanchez Burr’s ‘Beyond Sunrise Mountain’ unfolds before viewers’ eyes

David Sanchez Burr examines our relationship to the Vegas landscape with Beyond Sunrise Mountain.
Photo: Steve Marcus

If you’re studying the behavior of material in a constant state of 
change, Las Vegas is the perfect Petri dish. It’s a place where the geology of
 the area reveals its history in layers naked to the eye; where 
buildings are built for just a little while, not allowed to settle into the
 environment; and where people come and go and the earth itself is 
in hospitable to roots.

The Details

Beyond Sunrise Mountain
Through March 22; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free.
Clark County Government Center, 455-7340.
Artist’s reception February 27, 6-8 p.m.

So saying there’s a lot happening in David Sanchez Burr’s Beyond 
Sunrise Mountain is kind of an understatement, especially when you consider that the artist has 
been examining the geological and sociological nature of Las Vegas since 
he arrived more than five years ago.

The installation at Clark County Government Center’s 
Rotunda deals with our relationship to the area and even includes transformation in real time: a weather balloon, tied to a string, losing its helium, allowing the string to form a path in a corralled plot of desert (a dérive inspired by the situationalists).

Sculptural tributes to the Frontier, Dunes and Stardust will crumble from vibrations created by speakers below as part of a planned implosion at a February 27 artist’s reception. Another piece deconstructs in front 
of you on its own—micaceous clay gradually falling from a plane,
 revealing a painting beneath. The falling is the art, the performance, the
 transformation that visitors are to consider as they move among the works. This includes a nearby trio of working boats
with wheels and sails loaded down with earth, a vehicle carrying the baggage from its last stop with nowhere else to go.

All of this, along with a double-sided (perpetual) stage, makes for an intelligent multimedia installation that forces the visitor to ask what it all means. But for that, you have to step back and consider, which is what Sanchez Burr has done in the desert just beyond Sunrise Mountain.

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Kristen Peterson

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