Archive: Chris Burden
Our top 10 from Art Basel Switzerland 2017

Our top 10 from Art Basel Switzerland 2017

Doug Aitken - Underwater Pavilions, 2017

Since being introduced in 2000, Art Basel’s Unlimited section shows artworks such as large-scale sculptures, video installations and performances that may not fit in the traditional art-booth framework. This is our top 10 selection of this year’s Unlimited. All comments on the works below are citations from Gianni Jetzer, the curator of Unlimited (2017).

Nick Cave

Nick Cave - Speak Louder, 2011
Nick CaveSpeak Louder, 2011, mixed media including black mother of pearl buttons, embroidery floss, upholstery, metal armature
Photo: Public Delivery

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Chris Burden got enormous meteorite on eBay for this installation

Chris Burden got enormous meteorite on eBay for this installation

Chris Burden - Porsche with Meteorite, 2013, Photo by Benoit Pailley/New Museum
Chris BurdenPorsche with Meteorite, 2013, restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390 pound meteorite, steel structure installation, New Museum, New York City, USA, 2013
Photo: Benoit Pailley, New Museum

About Chris Burden’s Porsche with Meteorite

Chris Burden was not exactly an everyday artist. While his previous work usually involved a form of danger (see Shoot), his last works have still been about performance, but mostly involved creating very much advanced models of working machines. One of such of his works was sitting in the New Museum, NYC in 2013. At the New Museum, there was a large chunk of meteorite which weighed 365 pounds hanging from one end of a massive steel frame while a Canary yellow 1974 Porsche 914 hung from the other end.

Burden went to great lengths to make his machines come to live and a great deal of energy and intelligence is required. According to the story of how the meteorite machine came to be, Burden spotted the huge meteorite on eBay and it was available on free shipping too. He had never seen a meteorite that big and he went ahead to buy it without actually having any inkling whatsoever about what he would do with it.

Chris Burden whose most well-known work is Shoot, an art performance in which he had his own arm shot by a friend in 1971, had over the years grown into a stocky, vigorous 67 years old man. His works were usually huge and they always took very long time to bring to life but there is a clean elegance about them which Mr. Burden said he imbibed from the University of California.

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Chris Burden shot in the name of art in legendary performance (video)

Chris Burden shot in the name of art in legendary performance (video)

Chris Burden - Shoot
Chris BurdenShoot, 1971

Introduction

American sculptor and performance artist, Chris Burden, who was known for his works in the extreme, passed away May 10, 2015. Many of his works were best described as “shocking”, and the radical nature of his work is what set him apart from other twentieth century American artists. His performance pieces were often depictions of violence in which he was always his own victim: he was crucified to a Volkswagen Beetle, had viewers push pins into his body, was kicked down two flights of stairs, and in the case of the piece being discussed, “Shoot” (1971), he was shot.

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