Monday, 11 May 2015

Chris Burden, 1946 - 2015

Chris Burden, Trans-Fixed, 1974
Chris Burden died 10 May 2015.
Joe the lion, went to the bar
A couple of drinks on the house
An' he said, "Tell you who you are
If you nail me to my car"
Bowie's song alludes to Chris Burden's 1974 Body Art event, Trans-Fixed:
TRANS-FIXED, Venice, California, April 23, 1974. Inside a small garage on Speedway Avenue, I stood on the rear bumper of a Volkswagen. I lay on my back over the rear section of the car, stretching my arms onto the roof. Nails were driven through the palms into the roof of my car. The garage door was opened and the car was pushed halfway out into Speedway. Screaming for me, the engine was run at full speed for two minutes. After two minutes the engine was turned off, and the car pushed back into the garage. The door was closed.
Other performances included: 
Shoot (1971) in which he was shot in the arm by a friend with a .22 rifle. Watch a video of the event.
Chris Burden, Shoot, 1971
Through the Night Softly (1973) in which he crawled through a 50-foot-long pile of broken glass in his underwear, with his hands tied behind his back: watch the video. (This was featured as one of Burden's TV Commercials.)
Chris Burden, Through the Night Softly, 1973
By the end of the 1970s, after 54 performance events, Burden abandoned performance art and turned to sculpture. Works include:
All the Submarines of the United States of America (1987)
Chris Burden, All the Submarines of the United States of America, 1987
 The Other Vietnam Memorial (1991) which lists the names of 3 million Vietnamese killed during the Vietnam War.
Chris Burden, The Other Vietnam Memorial, 1991
Urban Light (2008) comprising 202 vintage streetlights installed in the plaza at the LA County Museum of  Art.
Chris Burden, Urban Light, 2008

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