Thursday, October 15, 2015
Artist Chris Burden recently passed away from complications due to melanoma, cutting short a life built on the creative contradictions of extreme physical duress and the quiet cacophonies of physics, architecture, intuition, and poetry. While beginning his career as a minimalist/performance artist, his work slowly morphed into something more unclassifiable and less sensationalist. GOLD BULLETS (2003) not only referenced his early performance SHOOT (1971), but continued his articulation of the overwhelming greed and violence at the heart of not only war, but within America's preoccupation with guns and greed. His training in architecture and physics showed up in later installations/spaces, particularly his last work ODE TO SANTOS-DUMONT, inspired by the work of Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont who flew a dirigible around the Eiffel Tower in 1901. This flying sculpture not only confirms the lyrical grace of flight (within the LACMA), but offers a touching eulogy for an artist steeped in the visionary physics of poetry.